Preparations for settlement of borrowers' refunds on schedule


Preparations for the Hungarian banking sector's biggest challenge this year, the settlement of refunds mandated under borrowers' relief legislation, are "progressing at a good pace", the head of the Hungarian Banking Association told Hungarian news agency MTI in an interview.

Mihály Patai said banks would meet the deadlines in legislation on the settlement as well as on the conversion of retail forex loans and on the introduction of fair banking practices. After the tasks related to the legislation are completed, Hungary's banking sector can finally return to normal operation with regard to retail lending, and that is the most important thing, he added.

He said the country's banking sector was undergoing a significant reorganization, noting changes in ownership and the exit of six smaller players from the market.

Revenues are down and costs have risen, mainly as the result of government measures, such as the bank levy and the duty on financial transactions, he said. In future, only those banks will remain viable in Hungary that can adjust their business models to new market expectations and owner strategies, he added.

Patai said it could be seen as a sign of progress that the gradual phasing out of the bank levy had been put on the agenda at government level. He added that it was justified to tie the process to a pick up in economic growth.

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