Banker: Moratorium on mortgaged property sale stifles loan market

MNB

Mortgage lending could become attractive again if the moratorium on the sale of the mortgaged properties is lifted, Raiffeisen Bank CEO Heinz Wiedner was cited saying yesterday at a conference, according to Hungarian news agency MTI. In the current regulatory environment, mortgage lending amounts to uncollateralized lending in Hungary, Wiedner said.

FHB Bank CEO Gergő Soltész, however, said he saw expansion of mortgage lending, and said he expects fierce competition among banks during the conversion of FX loans into forint loans.

The two senior bankers responded to recent comments of National Bank of Hungary managing director Márton Nagy, who said that competition could help carry out the government's planned conversion of FX retail loans into forints without a rise in the interest rates, and that the resulting need for competitive pricing could help revive the country's mortgage market.

Adressing the conference Thursday, Nagy reiterated that borrowers will be free to take out the forint loans from any bank when converting their FX loans into forints. Pricing, however, will have to be transparent, meaning either a fixed interest rate or a fixed spread, he added.

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