Apparently we end the last year of the current strategic period with increasing optimisim. In fact, this optimisim has legs and covers both external, also internal aspects. The external aspect is basically characterized with hopes over improvement of the pandemic situation due to vaccine application, and internal one is related with reform agenda of the government with respect to economic and financial market management. In addition, announcement of the government regarding reforms on law side is another strong message which feeds rising policy credibility. As a result of those combined factors, we withness improvement in economic landscape and also in economic indicators. Appreciation of Turkish lira, accelaration of growth recovery, improvement of investor and consumer expectations etc. are some examples for the latter. The fact is that current developments enable us to hope and expect very strong come back of the economy with lots of opportunities in the next year, which in its turn is the first year of the next 2023 strategic period of the Bank.
Despite hard and challenging times throughout the year, the overall banking system has succeded to maintain risks within the acceptable levels, and profitability at two-digit territory. But it is a fact that, overall slowdown in the economy, is being reflected into the performance indicators of the banking system. In any way, according to latest data, the total assets of the system in the last 12 month has increased by 36% as opposed to prior year and reached TL 6.108 billion. The same trend applies to credit portfolio. Total credits of the industry reached TL 3,827 billion with 32% increase.
It is a tradition, therefore, we are proud to say that PASHA Bank as a dynamic market player keeps going on its healthy expansion. In general, continuous investment onto strengthening of internal capabilities, starting from building core competencies for managing business to increasing human capital potential of the Bank, has already demonstrated its strategic return in the form of capable navigation through the stressful times.
As a result, total assets of the Bank increased by 26,3% to reach TL 2.179 million when compared to the same period of the prior year. Our gross cash loan and leasing receivables portfolio, comprising 69% of total assets, reached TL 1.493 million with a 36,6% increase.
Due to effective risk management framework, and prudent credit policy pursued by the Bank we have been successful in preserving low level of NPL in our balance sheet. It is worth to underline that flexible revisiting of credit policy, adjusting tactics of credit and underwriting policy to the current realities of macroeconomic environment etc. are forming subtance of the overall risk approach of the Bank.
Moreover, it is worth to underline that the proactive approach of the regulator to risk management has also expanded the ability of the banks managing credit risks in a proper way. The fact is that, the current trigger behind economic slowdown is very specific which requires regulators to act taking into account huge direct support need of economic agents.
The year 2020 is the last year of the current strategic period of the Bank where the strategic objectives have been set like continuing as an investment bank, leveraging up, increasing profitability and achieving diversification. In overall, the designed strategy of the Bank doesn’t only cover impressive bottomline performance, additionally, it focuses on introducing totally different value proposition to the market, which in turn acquire its aspiration from the values of shareholders. We are very honored to state that the Bank progresses both financially and non-financially succesfully from one strategic period to another achieving strategic objectives set by shareholder. We have full confidence that outstanding achievements in 2020 strategy despite very challengic economic landscape would prevail itself in the next, 2023 strategic period, and the Bank would continue from one hand its expansion in balance sheet and other financial indicators, from other hand would evolve adequately on corporate governance side.
In overall, the designed strategy of the Bank doesn’t only cover impressive bottomline performance, additionally, it focuses on introducing totally different value proposition to the market, which in turn acquire its aspiration from the values of shareholders. As usual, 2023 strategy of the Bank sets financial targets in front of the Bank, also, it envisages considering agile way of working, recognize data diriven decision making, and strive making innovation part of our business.
While executing the strategy, we would continue to make substantial investments to the information technologies, risk management, credit management, fund raising, talent acquisition etc. and development of our employees that are of foremost importance. In overall, agility and know-how regarding focus sectors are expected to be differentiating capabilities of the Bank. It is extremly important to remind that initiatives by the Bank with respect to strenthening risk management capacity is proved to be very preventive considering current market challenges and supportive considering IFRS 9 provisioning.
We will continue to make efforts to diversify the Bank’s funding structure and expand our correspondent network and investor base. In this regard, it is important to emphasize competitive advantage of the Bank which goes beyond the country borders, and comes with the strength of the Group’s presence across the region.
The fact is that, the Bank has opportunity to attract funding from both Azerbaijan and Georgia, in case it sees favorable interest rate developments there, and this potential is being materialized during the current strategic period. We will maintain our prudent approach to managing credit risks so that the asset quality of the Bank is not affected by the current environment characterized with increasing volatility in the market. We shall continue our efforts of offering products and services that are tailored to our customers’ needs to make banking experience a gainful experience with PASHA Bank.
I am truly looking forward to share prosperous operating environment with all stakeholders which provides enourmous benefit to all parts, and serves to build business relationships based on mutual interest.
I would like to take this opportunity to thank our valued employees and our management team for their dedicated professional work, our customers for their confidence in PASHA Bank and our shareholders and all business partners for their valuable support.
It is definitely their goodwill that renews our belief in ourselves and our potential to be more.