ACB was established in 1991 due to the sub-division of the activities of the State Bank of Albania, the main activity of which was managing the foreign trade operations of the state-owned entities with former socialist countries.
The NBA on the other hand was established in 1992 as a result of a second sub-division of the State Bank of Albania. The NBA was set up to manage the domestic trading activity of the State-owned entities. The assets and liabilities from the activities of these two entities were transferred to BKT accounts since it was first established.
Banka Kombëtare Tregtare was established as a Joint Stock Company in July 1997, with assets reaching ALL 2.7 billion.
BKT accomplished its privatization process in the year 2000. On July 6, 2000, The Albanian Parliament approved the sale contract between the Ministry of Finance and the Consortium of International Investors consisting of Kentbank (60% of shares), International Finance Corporation (20%) and European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (20%). The transfer of ownership entered into force on 17 October, 2000. In November 2000, the new shareholders invested US$10 million, resulting in the strong capitalization of the bank.
The new highly-experienced shareholders and managers brought to BKT major transformations in 2001. These transformations included the development of a new infrastructure and the restructuring of all aspects of the bank's operations from personnel and procedures to IT infrastructure. The young and dynamic team of professionals that the Bank employed was committed to achieving perfection.
In February 2003, with the decision of the Shareholders' General Meeting, the paid-up capital reached the amount of US$ 14,64 million, turning BKT into the most capitalized bank in the whole Albanian banking system.
The year 2006 started with a new vision for BKT. With the authorization of the Bank of Albania and pursuant to the specific court decision issued on June 9, 2006, it was approved the transfer of 60% plus 2 of the BKT shares possessed by Kent Bank in favour of Calik-Seker Konsorsiyum Yatirim A.S.
In Kosovo, the bank started its activity in November 2007 and now operates with 26 branches all around Kosovo. BKT Kosova offers a wide variety of products and banking services for private individuals, small & medium enterprises as well as corporates. The rapid expansion in Kosovo has been accompanied with a considerable growth in market shares in both deposits and loans.
On June 30, 2009 Çalik Financial Services buys to IFC and BERZH theirs shares part being in this way the only BKT shareholder owning 100 % of the shares.
During 2006 – 2015, with its stable performance BKT is evaluated with different prices on national and international levels, among which several times as “ The best Bank of the Year” in Albania, The Best Bank in South East Europe”, and “The Best Bank in Albania. In 2015, BKT has been chosen as the “Best Bank in Albania” from EuroMoney Magazine for the fourth consecutive time. Moreover, JCR-ER reaffirms its evaluation for BKT with ‘AAA (Alb)’ grade for the seventh consecutive time.
The acknowledgement of BKT’s CEO Mr. Seyhan Pencabligil as “The CEO of the Year in Europe” has been another clear evidence of BKT’s regional success. The awards that BKT received from numerous prestigious financial institutions are proof of the validity of its strategies.