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MNB fines lenders almost HUF 1.9 bln

The National Bank of Hungary (MNB) has fined banks a total of HUF 1.86 billion in a targeted probe for violating rules on unilateral changes to bank accounts, bank card fees and commissions, MNB Governor György Matolcsy said in a written response to a query by an opposition MP posted on the website of Parliament.

The central bank and financial market watchdog took measures against 142 financial institutions in the probe, Matolcsy wrote, according to a report by state news agency MTI. Resolutions the MNB issued resulted in refunds of about HUF 4 bln to more than 1 million consumers, he added.

Twenty-six of the affected institutions contested the resolutions in court. Of these, the appeals of 23 were rejected, while the court overturned one resolution. Two of the court cases are ongoing.

The MNB closely observes current account costs - including fees for transfers - at domestic banks, Matolcsy wrote, acknowledging that many lenders had tried to pass on the cost of the financial transaction duty to consumers after its introduction.