During the first half of the 19th century in the Ottoman Empire, foreign banks began to operate within the country’s territory in line with the adoption of Western models of trade and financing. At those times, there was not any sufficient capital accumulation for the establishment of a banking system having a national character, and it was not possible to speak of the existence of a national bank as a source build tool.
The section of the population who suffered from this situation was the farmers, which constituted the vast majority of the working population were. The agricultural sector had been completely abandoned to their fate and as a result, a large group of farmers facing financial hardship were constantly in need of loans provided by private individuals as there was not any corporate financial structure available to which they could apply for loans
Loaners were usually moneylender individuals who engaged with this business field, along with several traders and artisans such as merchants, wholesalers, exporters, brokers, agricultural middlemen, and village grocers, who also sold agricultural supplies.
At those days, an annual interest rate of up to 900% would be involved on the basis of $1 day calculation. Thus, being in extreme hardship to pay their debts, the farmers were forced to sell their products to these individuals even before the harvest.
The idea that the State should intervene with the agricultural lending business in order to find remedies to the problems of the downtrodden farmers was gradually finding its place in the newspapers of the time and in the official circles.
The governor at that time, which was then under the ruling of the Empire, had already achieved successful outcomes in various fields and also closely witnessed the severe conditions which the farmers had to face. As a result of his surveys, he concluded that an organization in that field was imperative and State aid was needed to help to rescue farmers from the hands of loan sharks but it was also important that such aid had to be supported by a public action. Thus, an organization called “TRUST FUNDS” was established by and under the auspices of the State in 1963, utilizing the resources raised by the farmers. This initiative went down in history as the first example of the national banking and constituted the basis of today’s OUR BANK.