Garanti Bank was established in 1946 by 103 cofounders as a joint-stock company in Ankara. The founders of the Bank consisted of traders who wanted to invest their post-World War II accumulated fortunes in profitable lines of businesses. The founding capital of the Bank was TL2.5 million which was divided into 25,000 shares worth TL100 each. Garanti opened its first branch on Anafartalar Street in Ankara on June 21, 1946; the second branch was opened in Istanbul on Bankalar Street. Branch network reached 22 in 7 years. In 1950, the headquarters were moved to the building on Yeni Postane Street in Sirkeci, Istanbul.
Towards the end of 1970s when conglomerate-owned banking gained momentum, most of the share certificates of Garanti were acquired by Koc Group and Sabancı Group. In the early 1980s, first Koc Group then Sabancı Group sold their shares in Garanti to Doğuş Group.
By 1983, Garanti was completely owned by Doğuş Group. After joining Doğuş Group, the Bank held its initial public offering (IPO) in 1990 and went public. In 1993, it became the first Turkish corporation to issue shares in international markets. Improving its services continuously, it was the first bank to start working during lunch time by introducing 'Open Bank During Lunch Break' concept ('Öğlen Açık Banka') in 1995.
In 1996, Garanti Bank acquired Osmanlı Bank. In the 90s, operational efficiency was vital for competitive advantage; therefore, the Bank focused on investments in technology prioritizing central operation infrastructures and low-cost distribution channels particularly the internet. In 1997, Garanti became the first bank to offer both internet and mobile banking simultaneously. In addition, during the same year, Garanti became the first multi-branch private bank to offer real-time online services in Turkey.
In the early 2000s, with the increase in competencies in customer information accumulation, storage and processing, the efforts towards understanding customer expectations and needs accelerated. Hence, a more integrated and customer oriented service started to be offered through all channels. High quality services were offered to customers with different needs through the newly set up payment systems infrastructure. By 2000, Turkey's first multi-brand and chip-enabled credit card, 'Bonus', and also Turkey's only credit card with frequent flyer miles, Shop&Miles, were offered. In 2002, the first interbank card platform in Turkey was established with Bonus card.
In 2001, as Körfezbank and Osmanlı Bank merged, Garanti Bank merged with Osmanlı Bank under the roof of Garanti Bank. In 2005, General Electric became an equal strategic partner in Garanti with Doğuş Group.
By mid 2000s, improvements in the Customer Relationship Management (CRM) systems enabled banks to extend their services to the masses. Access to banks and funds provided by banks became more convenient for customers from all segments. During this period, in order to further and precisely analyze customer needs, Garanti enhanced its technological infrastructure.
In 2011, upon GE's global crisis-driven decision to exit from financial businesses in the USA and Europe, the preeminent Spanish bank BBVA became a strategic partner with Doğuş Group in Garanti. BBVA's customer oriented business model, reinforced with advanced technology and innovation, overlapping with that of Garanti contributed positively on both sides through best practice sharing and collaboration opportunities. Through additional acquisitions in 2015 of 14.89% and in 2017 of 9.95% stake in Garanti, today Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria S.A. (BBVA) is Garanti’s majority shareholder with 49.85% share. Its shares publicly traded in Turkey, and its depositary receipts in the UK and the USA, Garanti has an actual free float of around 50% in Borsa Istanbul.
Garanti’s constantly improving business model is driven by its strategic priorities focused on responsible and sustainable development, customer experience, employee happiness, digitalization, optimal capital utilization and efficiency. Garanti’s capital generative, disciplined and sustainable growth strategy that strictly adheres to solid asset quality enables the Bank to move forward strongly. Its effective risk management through world-class integrated management of financial and non-financial risks and organizational agility in capturing new opportunities result in sustainable value creation for all its stakeholders.
Moreover, Garanti creates shared value and drives positive change through lending based on impact investment, as well as strategic partnerships and community programs focusing on material issues for both Garanti and its stakeholders.