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Rogán: Bank levy won’t decrease until 2016

History

Fraction leader of ruling Fidesz party Antal Rogán said today that he expects the bank levy to be reduced no sooner than 2016, and that it can only be decreased if banks contribute to economic growth by boosting their lending activity, Hungarian news agency MTI reported.

Rogán believes that the reduction of the bank levy can only happen if lending expands and Hungary's GDP growth remains steadily over 2%, but preferably around 3%; should lending not pick up, a cut in the levy would be very difficult to conceive.

Earlier today, Hungary’s Prime Minister Viktor Orbán said the bank levy was introduced as a "crisis measure" and noted that the government had made a "commitment", rather than a "promise", to reduce the levy to a level "not unheard of in Europe" once the country's economy had improved, Hungarian news agency MTI reported. He said the issue could be revisited, "in a reasonable manner", now that the Hungarian economy is performing well, adding that the levy could be reduced "in several steps, in a gradual, planned and predictable manner".

Economy minister Mihály Varga said that although Hungary introduced the extraordinary bank levy as a temporary measure for three years in 2010, it became permanent in 2013 and is expected to be maintained, but at a lower rate.

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