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Savings coop oversight board dissolved in reorganization

All members of the management and supervisory boards of savings cooperative integrator SZHISZ announced their resignations at a general meeting on Friday as part of a reorganization of the savings cooperatives of Hungary required by legislation passed on June 9, according to reports.

Economy Minister Mihály Varga said the bill allows more efficient oversight of the savings cooperative system by the Hungarian National Bank (MNB), and that the central bank is now authorized to intervene and conduct probes of savings cooperatives. MNB has the power to initiate penalties, suspensions and revocation of licenses under the rules, Varga said.

The Hungarian government announced that it decided to make improvements to the countryʼs savings cooperatives sector, including eliminating limits on the joint liability of integrated coopsʼ as a way to contribute to banking sector stability and to level the playing field, according to reports. 

SZHISZ had until mid-July to comply with the amendment. The board members who resigned will remain in their positions until a general meeting on July 18 can elect replacements, SZHISZ said. The integrationʼs members approved changes to their charter to bring it in line with amended legislation, Hungarian news agency MTI reported.

Acting on a proposal by the board, a rule was written into the charter requiring a representative of the central bank to be invited to all board meetings and participate with advice, MTI reported.

Speaking at the meeting, Andrea Bártfai-Mager, the governmentʼs newly appointed commissioner for postal affairs and national financial services, said a phase of the integration had been wound up, according to MTI. The commissionerʼs office will start drafting a strategy based on the interests of the integration next week, she added.

In the course of that work, a review will be conducted of areas that are not operating well or are in need of further development, she said. The active cooperation of the integrationʼs members as well as its central bodies is expected until the deadline for completing the work on September 15, she added.

The goal of building the integration further aims to establish a group that plays a decisive role in serving the financial needs of retail, as well as SME clients, based on the sectorʼs traditions as well as the values of the integration, Bártfai-Mager said.