Banks hammered with HUF 9.5 billion fine for “cartel activity”

Music

The Hungarian Competition Authority (GVH) announced today that 11 banks representing a combined market share of nearly 91% in the country had been levied with a combined HUF 9.5 billion in fines for cartel activity during an early payback scheme for borrowers with foreign currency-denominated loans that ran from late 2011 to early 2012.

In order of penalty assessed, GVH fined OTP Bank HUF 3.9 billion, Erste Bank Hungary HUF 1.73 billion; K&H Bank HUF 983 million; CIB Bank HUF 835 million, MKB Bank 783 million, Raiffeisen Bank HUF 584 million, UniCredit Bank HUF 306m, Budapest Bank HUF 284 million, Ingatlanhitel HUF 63 million, Magyar Takarékbank HUF 1 million, and Citibank just under HUF 1 million.

FHB Mortgage Bank was also investigated by GVH authorities, but managed to avoid penalty because “it was a passive participant in the cartel and had never participated in any similar activity,” according to a report from national news service MTI.

Under the early payback scheme, borrowers were allowed to repay forex-based loans at discounted exchange rates. Lenders were left to pick up any difference based on changing exchange rates.

GVH established, based on email correspondence and other communication among the financial institutions that the banks had in fact colluded to dissuade would-be customers from participating in the relief scheme.

ADVERTISEMENT

Almost half of Hungarians get fringe benefits, survey shows Analysis

Almost half of Hungarians get fringe benefits, survey shows

Operative corps for economic recovery decides on further mea... Government

Operative corps for economic recovery decides on further mea...

Healthcare Roadshow Highlights Innovation, Screening Awarene... Interview

Healthcare Roadshow Highlights Innovation, Screening Awarene...

Zsa Zsa Gabor's ashes buried in Budapest City

Zsa Zsa Gabor's ashes buried in Budapest

SUPPORT THE BUDAPEST BUSINESS JOURNAL

Producing journalism that is worthy of the name is a costly business. For 27 years, the publishers, editors and reporters of the Budapest Business Journal have striven to bring you business news that works, information that you can trust, that is factual, accurate and presented without fear or favor.
Newspaper organizations across the globe have struggled to find a business model that allows them to continue to excel, without compromising their ability to perform. Most recently, some have experimented with the idea of involving their most important stakeholders, their readers.
We would like to offer that same opportunity to our readers. We would like to invite you to help us deliver the quality business journalism you require. Hit our Support the BBJ button and you can choose the how much and how often you send us your contributions.