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Report: Official urges stricter oversight, joint supervision

Hungary’s National Economy Ministry has agreed with the National Bank of Hungary (MNB) that more stringent oversight rules should be introduced for auditors, however the supervision of the sector should not be split up based on its clientele, Hungarian economic daily Világgazdaság reported today.

Zoltán Pankucsi (pictured), who is the ministry’s deputy state secretary for taxation and accountancy, told the paper that the intent of both institutions is to prevent brokerage scandals, such as Buda-Cash and Quaestor, from recurring in the future. The secretary added that the institutions are also planning to establish ways to filter out companies in which such problems could occur at all.

"Although we disagree as to how these goals can be attained, we fully agree that the role of auditors needs to be scrutinized and their oversight made more stringent," Pankucsi said.

According to the official, the current practice allows the auditors’ chamber to investigate the shortcomings and procedures are being closed without any sanctions in the majority of cases. Pankucsi expects this practice to be changed, precisely to give the economy ministry authority to impose sanctions directly on auditors, without the need for the chamber conducting a procedure, including fines of millions of forints or even a ban from continuing their activity as auditors, the daily notes.