MNB could expand cheap credit program to big companies

Telco

The National Bank of Hungary could expand a cheap credit program for SMEs as well as larger companies, central bank governor György Matolcsy said on a public radio program broadcast yesterday.

Matolcsy told Kossuth Radio's G7 program that large companies as well as SMEs could have access to an additional HUF 1 trillion of cheap credit from the Funding For Growth Scheme this year. The central bank's Monetary Council is likely to make a decision on new elements in the program soon, he added.

Businesses have so far used about half of the HUF 2.7 trillion available in the program, he said.

Under the scheme, the MNB provides zero-interest refinancing to banks which they can lend to SMEs at an APR not exceeding 2.5%.

Banks lent HUF 710 bln in the first phase of the scheme from June-September 2013 and an additional HUF 470 bln in Phase II, which was launched with an overall limit of HUF 2 trillion in October 2013. Of the total funds allotted for the second phase, the MNB has accessed HUF 1 trillion to date.

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