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Banking association chief reacts to PM bank comments

Hungary's banks have no knowledge of any new borrowing plans with regard to the state support program for borrowers struggling to repay their foreign currency-denominated loans because of the weaker forint, Hungarian Banking Association chief secretary Levente Kovács said on Wednesday, reacting to comments by Prime Minister Viktor Orbán.

Orbán said in an interview on public radio broadcaster MR1 that banks will have to share part of the burden of the support program for borrowers with foreign currency-denominated loans and that sharing this loss would be one of the most important tasks to complete in the autumn. He added that the program could be expanded with new elements.

At present, the establishment of an asset manager to purchase the homes of borrowers close to default is on the agenda, Kovács said. It is important that assistance go only to the poor, and that it be genuine assistance, he added.