Orbán to propose Matolcsy for another term as MNB chief

MNB

Prime Minister Viktor Orbán will propose György Matolcsy for a second term as governor of the National Bank of Hungary (MNB), the PM’s press chief said on Tuesday, according to a report by state news agency MTI.

György Matolcsy

Matolcsy’s six-year mandate as MNB governor ends on March 3. The governor is appointed by the President of Hungary, based on the proposal of the Prime Minister, after a hearing before a parliamentary committee. There is a two-term limit for the post.

Asked in January whom he would propose to fill the top spot at the central bank when Matolcsy’s mandate ends, Orbán indicated that "no surprise is expected."

Orbán has written to Speaker of the House László Kövér, informing him about his recommendation, and requesting that he arrange for a hearing of Matolcsy before Parliament’s Economic Committee, official government website kormany.hu reported.

Under the stewardship of Matolcsy, a former economy minister known for sometimes unorthodox policy, the central bank base rate has been brought to a historic low. He has also overseen a reversal in corporate lending trends, supported by the MNB’s Funding for Growth Scheme, while he helped coordinate the conversion of retail FX mortgages into forints, reducing household debt by some HUF 1 trillion, the MTI report added.

Matolcsyʼs tenure has also been marked by periodic whiffs of scandal, particularly with regard to the operation of funds set up by the central bank and alleged nepotism in some of his appointments, as well as occasional unsubstantiated pronouncements.

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