Banks close to agreement with govt, says Napi Gazdaság

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Banks and the government are nearing an agreement on dealing with the problem of foreign currency-denominated lending, business daily Napi Gazdasag said on Wednesday.

Hungarian Banking Association chairman Mihaly Patai told a conference that a solution is close and he hoped the details would be revealed in days, the paper said.

Mr Patai said the agreement being drawn up was for the long term and would shape the future of retail banking, but he still did not expect it to cause any serious improvement in the segment.

Mr Patai had a better outlook for the corporate segment, expressing hope for progress with the exclusion of some business sectors, such as construction and property development, even as liquidity remains tight in the coming years.

He said that Hungary’s political and financial elite had switched roles, with the political elite taking back the lead. As a result, the regulatory environment is becoming stricter, which is enforcing defense of client interests, even if the banks don’t like it, he added.

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