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Erste Bank Hungary profit climbs over HUF 59 bln in 2021

Banking

Austrian-owned Erste Bank Hungary had an after-tax profit of HUF 59.2 billion last year, up from HUF 22.9 bln in 2020 and close to the HUF 60.1 bln in 2019, chairman-CEO Radován Jelasity said on Wednesday, according to a report by state news wire MTI.

The stock of client loans and bonds rose over 9% in the twelve months to the end of December, Jelasity said. The NPL ratio in the lending portfolio rose from 3% to 3.6% during the period, he added.

Richárd Szabados, who heads Erste's corporate division, said new outlays to companies rose 7%, including bond subscriptions. SME lending stock increased 9%, he added.

Deputy-CEO for the bank's retail business Lászlo Harmati said new retail outlays edged up 0.7pc, but total lending stock increased 12pc with the end of the blanket repayment moratorium.

Hungary's government replaced the blanket repayment moratorium, introduced in the spring of 2020 to ease the impact of the coronavirus crisis, with a conditional one from November 1.

Harmati said bank card turnover reached a new record in December. After Hungarians raising children got personal income tax refunds in February 2022, bank card turnover set a new daily record, he added.

Jelasity said the PIT refunds were "evident" in early repayments, while savings "jumped, more than expected".

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