Bulent Tasar, the chairman of FIDER, the Turkish leasing
association, has said that the Turkish leasing industry is “rapidly
melting away”, having recorded a 74 percent loss in total
transaction volumes in the first four months of 2009.

Speaking at a conference in Ankara last week, Tasar, who is also
managing director of Siemens Financial Services in Turkey, said
that the economic crisis and recent tax increases on leasing have
pushed the leasing sector to the brink of collapse.

“The government’s decision to increase the value-added tax on
lease transactions from 1 percent to 18 percent last year dealt a
major blow to the sector. To make things worse, the emergence of
the current crisis was the straw that broke the camel’s back,” he

Tasar said he believes the tax increase has deterred SMEs from
working with leasing firms and that it has led to a sizeable
contraction, particularly in the machinery industry.

“If we want the sector to stay alive, we need an urgent cut in
the value-added tax,” he added.

FIDER fears that year-on-year, the industry will shrink by over
60 percent. “If it continues like this, there will soon not be a
leasing firm out there.”

Jason T Hesse