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Ministry proposes further changes to bank levy rules

The National Economy Ministry (NGM) said yesterday that it is proposing to Parliament that it make further amendments on pending legislation concerning bank levy rules following informal signals from the European Commission.

NGM is proposing that for banks with total assets above HUF 50 billion, the bank levy should drop from 0.53% to 0.24%, lower than the initial proposal of 0.31% that the ministry made in November. For banks with total assets under HUF 50 bln the bank levy should still remain at 0.15%.

2009 will be used as the benchmark year for total assets in all cases even in 2016.

The government wants to introduce legislation that is acceptable for Hungarian banks and the European Commissionʼs Directorate for Competition, and that presents a more favorable, flexible and forward-looking solution for banks, said NGM.

Yesterday Parliamentʼs legislative committee adopted an amendment to the legislative proposal on the bank levy that removed passages that would have capped the levy in 2017 and 2018 at 45% of the payments made in 2015.

Ágnes Hornung, a state secretary at the Economy Ministry, said they could not adopt legislation using financial figures for a financial year that was still in progress.

The incentive of further reducing the levy for banks that increase their corporate lending and their lending to SMEs in 2016 through transactions and outlays was also removed from the proposal.