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“Hundreds of thousands” could participate in fx loan bailout plan

MNB

Recently approved legislation that broadens the eligibility for an exchange rate cap scheme could attract borrowers “in the hundreds of thousands,” Hungarian Banking Association chairman Mihály Patai said after a regular meeting of banking industry leaders hosted by the National Bank of Hungary (MNB) today.

Patai said the lenders affected by the measure had promised to do everything in their power to see the legislation is implemented successfully.

On November 5, parliament passed legislation that lifts most restrictions for participation in the exchange rate cap scheme for borrowers with foreign currency-denominated loans. The legislation opened the scheme to borrowers already participating in other assistance programs, to those more than 90 days behind on repayments, and to those who took out loans for more than HUF 20 million.

Under the scheme, borrowers’ repayments are capped at a fixed exchange rate. The difference between the fixed rate and the market rate is placed on a technical account for repayment later.
Patai said participants at the meeting had discussed ways to improve the second phase of the MNB’s Funding for Growth scheme as was. The pace of the phase will be different from that of the first, he commented.

He said MNB governor György Matolcsy had said any possible changes to the program deemed necessary would be discussed by the rate-setting Monetary Council in the first half of December.

The European bank union was another topic discussed at the meeting. Patai said banks believe Hungary should allow for the possibility of joining the union, as a number of Hungarian banks will already be part of it because of their foreign parent banks.

Present at the meeting were, in addition to Patai, Sándor Csányi of OTP Bank, Rik Scheerlinck of K&H Bank, Fabrizio Centrone of CIB, Csaba Nagy of the Hungarian Development Bank (MFB), Heinz Wiedner of Raiffeisen, Zoltán Spéder of FHB Mortgage Bank, Tamás Vojnits of Takarékbank, György Zolnai of Budapest Bank and Pál Simák of MKB. Matolcsy participated with his three deputies.

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