From now on full speed ahead
Nowadays, when balance of powers in the world are shifting from west and east, Turkey is fast becoming an attraction center in international arenas with its stable environment, fast growing economy and its increasing share in world trade; and is further strengthening its position among shining stars of the global economy. Within the next 10 years, banking sector will play a critical role as the driver of financial stability on establishing a sustainable and balanced growth in our country which proceeds towards ranking in top 10 economies in the world. As one of the leading players in this sector, we shape our activities with the mission of adding value to the bright future of our customers, the sectors we have relations with and our country on the larger scale for 17 years and are proud to proceed towards our targets with sustainable business models with deals setting examples as being unique and unprecedented in the sector.
As DenizBank family, we entered a new era at the beginning of 2013 with Sberbank, the largest bank of Russia, being our new main shareholder after coming to an with Dexia on acquisition of shares. In the sales process which lasted one year, we undersigned unprecedented success by continuing to grow in all fields. Our DenizBank will now have the strong wind of Sberbank with its 172 old history, and set sail for new horizons and even greater targets.
On the other hand, as we acquired the retail banking division of Citi Turkey as from July 1, 2013, we reached another important turning point in our corporate history. Thanks to the learned and experienced human resource of Citi écol which we acquired to our Bank and also due to the new targets we have set in our retail portfolio, we have taken a step towards a stronger future with the acquisition of the retail banking division of Citi Turkey.
Today as our number of employees has reached 15.000 with sailors joining us from Citi Turkey, we are happy to rank the 5th largest private bank in Turkey according to consolidated asset size from a bank without branches, employees or customers, in only 17 years which is considered very short for our sector. I am proud to say that the added value we provided for our social stakeholders and 7.8 million customers who never left our side on our courageous journey of 17 years had a large contribution to this table besides our stable growth policy, the employment created for the sector and our commercial successes.
For this reason, we place our customers at the heart of all activities and work towards offering highest benefit to their lives in the quickest way under a single roof with the most advanced banking products in line with our financial supermarket understanding. As of December 31, 2013, we have 739 branches both domestic and abroad. We provide efficient services in European countries such as Austria and Germany with our international branches In only the last 2 years, we have succeeded in becoming the private bank to open the highest number of branches and to create the most employment in Turkey by opening more than 100 branches and employing more than 3.500 people. As of 2012, we are the second private bank that has branches in all 81 provinces of Turkey.
As DenizBank, while working towards the contribution to stable and sustainable development of our country, we give importance to all niche sectors that accelerate our economic growth and contribute to the strengthening of Turkish companies, their sectors and the Turkish economy on the long term by the financing and efficiency tools we provide in this sense. Believing that agriculture is one of the key sectors to carry our country towards sustainable future, we are providing our resources so that our farmers can make more efficient and economic production. Currently, we are proud to be the leader among private banks in this much untapped field when we first took our steps in terms of Turkish banking sector.
We exert efforts to contribute to the development of our SMEs which are the backbones of an economy. Based on the opinion that the most important problem of our SMEs is lack of capital and restricted access to financial resources, we support their operations with special, innovative and advantageous programs. In light of our experience we have in SME Banking, in order to ensure that our SMEs adapt to legal processes fast, we put forward CashierPOS which is extremely important for us.
Integrating digital and mobile technologies to our products and services is among our priorities. We work towards creating, rather than following trends and place digital & mobile technologies at the very heart of our operations in order both to ease our business practices and render peoples lives more beautiful at Deniz. As a reflection of this vision, we brought in such an innovative project as Facebook Banking to the banking industry not only in Turkey, but throughout the world; realized a breakthrough by accepting credit applications through Direct Message at Twitter, one of the most widely used social network websites in the world. We actualized our unique mobile wallet application fastPay that enables everyone to make money transfer whether they are DenizBank clients or not. As of June, we renewed our MobilDeniz application to make it more user-friendly. In short, we shaped our whole road map for our customers to benefit more conveniently from the gifts of the mobile and digital world.
Alongside our innovative approach in Digital Banking; our success in tourism, SME Banking, Retail Banking and Human Resources was also crowned with 26 national and international awards in total. In addition, we have been placed among the top 3 most praised banks in the sector by Capital Magazine, the prestigious publication of business world in Turkey.
As a bank that has continued its business process with human focus since day of establishment and that works to add value to the lives of its employees, customers and all stakeholders, we never forget our social responsibilities and we work intensively to serve the sustainable future of our society and our country. As DenizBank, we measure our success not only with financial business results but also by positively touching the lives of our people. Considering that one of the pillars of social development is culture-arts, our works in this field form an important part of our social responsibility vision. Within this scope, we have continued to be the corporate sponsor of Istanbul State Symphony Orchestra for ten years and we have been supporting the International Istanbul Opera Festival since its beginning. On the other hand, in 2012 we have sponsored the first and only ballet festival of Turkey, the International Bodrum Ballet Festival which has been organized for 11 years.
Another area we perceive as an important criterion indicating societal advancement as much as culture and arts is sports. We say yes to sports like we adopted arts since our day of establishment, and carry out important studies with the mission of enabling all circles of society to reach all branches of sports on a larger scale. In this scope, we joined forces with CEV which is the continental management body of Europe in volleyball in October 2013 and became the title sponsor of CEV Volleyball Champions League. With the collaboration where best volleyball players of Europe come to Deniz, we are very happy to strengthen our support to different branches of sports with such a respected organization in international arena.
The rise of DenizBank having undersigned many success stories with its fast and accessible solutions, excellent service quality and unconditional customer satisfaction philosophy will continue under Sberbank roof from now on
Dozens of achievements that we have realized so far give us an indescribable excitement as the guarantee of the triumphs we shall accomplish in the future. In the new era, we will continue to move towards our target to be among the top players of Turkey. As our motto Life is beautiful at Deniz explains, we will carry on working to become the bank at the hearts of people.
Now we say once again full speed ahead with the power and confidence of being a large family...
President and CEO