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Extraordinary tax to affect all financial sector companies

An extraordinary tax on the financial sector that the government wants to introduce will affect "all establishments belonging to the financial sector", National Economy Minister György Matolcsy said in an interview published in the latest issue of business weekly Figyelő, out Thursday.

"We will bring all establishments belonging to the financial sector into the agreement on the source of the combined HUF 200 billion in extra revenue, that is, HUF 187 billion more than earlier budgeted," Matolcsy said.

Prime Minister Viktor Orbán announced the planned tax on June 8, but mentioned specifically only banks, insurers and leasing companies when speaking about whom the tax would affect.

Matolcsy acknowledged in the interview with Figyelő that banks were "morose" about the tax, but said the amount of revenue it would generate - HUF 187 billion, on top of the HUF 13 billion targeted from the duty on financial institutions - was "carved in stone".

Matolcsy said he saw the possibility for an agreement that would meet the requirements of the government but also "create the possibility for banks to clean out their lending portfolios and expand their lending activities." One of the ways the problem of troubled borrowers with foreign currency-denominated loans could be dealt with is by establishing a national asset management-type company, he added.

The Hungarian Bank Association has agreed with the government to set up joint workgroups to address "very important questions" in 6-8 areas, among them foreign currency-based lending, Matolcsy said. (MTI-ECONEWS)