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Bank levy ought to be predictable, says financial market watchdog head

From the point of view of the international competitiveness of Hungary's financial intermediary system, it would be important for financial companies to be able to plan for the bank levy, chairman of financial market regulator PSzÁF Károly Szász told MTI.

Banks and other financial companies in Hungary accepted the bank levy as a kind of "communal contribution to bearing the burdens of the crisis", Szász said. But the scale of the tax and its use ought to be brought in line with European Union norms in the long term or gradually phased out, he added.

If banks are unable to plan ahead, their competitiveness will suffer and they could scale back their activities, Szász said.

Hungary's financial sector is expected to break even this year, but it could also make a loss, he said. In addition to the crisis, market players have had to deal with significant changes to international and domestic regulations, such as stricter consumer protection rules and the introduction of the bank levy, he added.

Szász said Hungary's financial intermediary system was stable and there were no dangers threatening its operation in the short term. (MTI-ECONEWS)