Are you sure?

Banks have not requested IMF mediation

Banks in Hungary have not officially requested that representatives from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) join talks with the between them and the government regarding the proposed extraordinary financial-sector tax, though they could still do so, a source that requested to remain anonymous told MTI on Friday.

The government submitted the bill on the extraordinary tax to parliament on Friday. The government plans to raise a total of HUF 200 billion of the tax, to be imposed on companies in the financial sector for at least two years.

MTI has learned that the issue of the extraordinary financial-sector tax is certain to emerge during talks between representatives from the international organization and Hungary's government. And six foreign-owned banks in Hungary would reportedly like to engage the IMF in their effort to moderate the government's proposed stipulations regarding the financial-sector tax.

The Hungarian Banking Association on Friday said, however, that they would not comment on the talks before Monday.

Representatives from the IMF and the EU will arrive to Hungary this week to conduct a regular review of Hungary's compliance with the conditions of a standby loan granted in 2008.

Minister of National Economy György Matolcsy told Reuters on Friday that the Hungarian Bank Association had abandoned talks on the tax with the government. Citing the banks' representatives, however, wire services have reported that foreign banks with units in Hungary had merely asked to postpone the talks until the IMF and EU delegations complete their visit. (MTI-ECONEWS)