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MNB meets with savings cooperatives to discuss lending scheme

The National Bank of Hungary said it met on Tuesday with the heads of eleven savings cooperatives to inform them of the details of its recently unveiled "Funding for Growth Scheme". The heads of the Orgovány és Vidéke, Duna, Szigetvár, Rajka és Vidéke, Polgári, Fókusz, Hungária Takarék, Fontana Credit, Pátria, Savaria and Endrőd és Vidéke savings cooperative were present at the meeting. The MNB earlier met with the heads of Hungary's biggest banks and a number of chiefs at mid-sized banks to discuss the scheme which aims to support economic growth. Under the Funding for Growth Scheme, the MNB will make available a combined HUF 500 billion of financing to banks for low-interest SME lending and the conversion of foreign currency-denominated corporate loans into forints. The MNB also said it would cut international reserves by €3 billion by reducing short-term external debt, thus lowering the stock of two-week bills – the central bank's main tool for soaking up excess liquidity – from HUF 4,500 billion to HUF 3,600 billion.