Ministry brushes off savings coop association threat

Initiatives

The National Development Ministry dismissed a threat by the National Association of Savings Cooperatives (OTSz) to take legal action if a tender for the sale of the state's stake in Takarékbank, the “central bank” for savings cooperatives, is not invalidated. OTSz said on Monday that it would turn to courts in Hungary or the European Union if the tender was not annulled. 

OTSZ members believe the tender is not in line with the government’s earlier resolution to give savings cooperatives priority, adding in a statement that it appeared that the tender had been called for a single bidder.

In its statement on Tuesday, the ministry rejected OTSz’s suggestion the tender “had been called for a single bidder,” explaining that all non-shareholder third-party bidders for the TakarékBank stake would get equal treatment, without exception.

The ministry conceded that a government resolution did indeed allow for savings cooperatives to enjoy an advantage in the tender, but only “within the boundaries of existing legal provisions”.

Takarékbank was taken over by the state last year as part of a government-mandated integration of the savings cooperative sector. The bank was given powers to determine standards for risk management, business policy and strategy for all savings cooperatives that are members of the integration.

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