Primus Trust to Appeal MNB 'Mega Fine'


Primus Trust Asset Management Zrt released a statement saying that it categorically rejects the claim of the Hungarian National Bank (MNB) that it would carry out any activity subject to a license without the appropriate license. In the coming days, the company is set to submit an appeal to the MNB requesting to withdraw its decision to fine the company HUF 300 million.

The statement added that if this is not possible, they will challenge MNB's decision in court.

"We are puzzled by the unprecedented mega fine imposed by the MNB on a service provider that, even by MNB’s own admission, did not gain any financial advantage from the allegedly unauthorized lending activity," Primus Trust told the Budapest Business Journal in a press release.

As the Budapest Business Journal reported earlier this month, MNB decided to fine Primus Trust HUF 300 million for providing loans on a commercial basis without a license. 

"We declare that we only carry out fiduciary activities that fully comply with the relevant legal requirements, have the necessary permits, and use all available legal tools to protect the legitimate interests of our clients, Primus Trust Zrt. carries out fiduciary asset management activities on the basis of a license issued by the Hungarian National Bank that is being renewed annually and is in full compliance with all legal requirements," the company said.

The company claimed that MNB failed to take into account not only the legal regulations on fiduciary asset management, but also the content of Primus Trust's license in its procedure and decision, or fundamentally misinterpreted them.

Primus Trust argued that the loans granted to the beneficiaries were disbursed as an activity directly related to the fulfillment of its obligation arising from the fiduciary asset management relationship for the benefit of the beneficiaries while considering their primary interests since it is the primary interest of the beneficiaries to obtain liquidity from the managed assets if necessary. The company added that these loans were provided in each case with individually determined conditions and exclusively to persons connected in some way to the assets under management.

"We wish to confirm that in all cases we carry out our fiduciary asset management activities in accordance with the governing legislation. Our managing partners actively contributed to the creation of the Hungarian rules for fiduciary asset management (trust), the naturalization of the legal institution in Hungary, and its theoretical and practical development, so we are fully aware of its content and spirit, as well as the fact that the legal institution is still immature at the level of law enforcement, which in turn would also require greater caution and preparation on the part of the acting authority," the company's statement explained.

"In its announcement, MNB mentions – certainly not without purpose – that it is currently investigating our company's compliance with anti-money laundering and terrorist financing legislation. In this context, we consider it important to state that we are committed to fully complying with the domestic and international regulations aimed at preventing money laundering and terrorist financing in our operations. The investigation in this direction has been ongoing since February 2021, and Primus Trust Zrt., as it has done so far, will continue to cooperate in everything with the specialized authority conducting the investigation," it added.

Furthermore, the company called MNB's official measures "legally unbased" adding that they "seriously threaten" the interests of its customers and its own existence.

Avg Gross Earnings at HUF 605,400 in February 2024 Figures

Avg Gross Earnings at HUF 605,400 in February 2024

Bulgaria's Household Income, Spending Rise 20% in 2023 World

Bulgaria's Household Income, Spending Rise 20% in 2023

Spar Magyarország Revenue Climbs Close to 16% in 2023 Retail

Spar Magyarország Revenue Climbs Close to 16% in 2023

Hungary Launches HUF 15 bln Tourism Sector Support Program Tourism

Hungary Launches HUF 15 bln Tourism Sector Support Program


Producing journalism that is worthy of the name is a costly business. For 27 years, the publishers, editors and reporters of the Budapest Business Journal have striven to bring you business news that works, information that you can trust, that is factual, accurate and presented without fear or favor.
Newspaper organizations across the globe have struggled to find a business model that allows them to continue to excel, without compromising their ability to perform. Most recently, some have experimented with the idea of involving their most important stakeholders, their readers.
We would like to offer that same opportunity to our readers. We would like to invite you to help us deliver the quality business journalism you require. Hit our Support the BBJ button and you can choose the how much and how often you send us your contributions.