Orbán on bank levy, saving co-ops, GDP growth


Simply put: BBJ passes on a couple quotes from Prime Minister Viktor Orbán on financial matters, namely the bank levy and Hungary’s overall economic growth – the latter for which he even offered a prediction.

First up, Orbán became subject of reportage earlier today when he promised to keep Hungary-based financial institutions paying a bank levy higher than European Union average in future. The sitting government first planned “crisis taxes” for 2013 back in 2010, promised in ’11 to scale the levy back some 50% and finally retracted that pledge and allowed the high rate to stay; such taxes are said to bring in some HUF 202 billion in revenue.

According to news service MTI, Orbán stated that the levy “was part of the new Hungarian system of sharing the public burden.

“He reiterated the government's goal to raise the proportion of Hungarian-owned financial institutions in the country, noting the importance of strengthening OTP Bank, an independent bank that is the country's biggest commercial lender, and integrating savings cooperatives. He added that the integration of the country’s savings cooperatives could raise their market share from 5% to 15%.”

At the same diplomatic meeting, Orbán more significantly was quoted pumping the positive on the national economy: “The moderate [forecasters] say growth could [peak] at 0.5%, however, I think it may even slip over it somewhat,” before going on to predict that “GDP growth could reach 2% in 2014.”

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