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Fidesz MP asks for inquiry into banks on suspicion of cartel activity

Antal Rogán, an MP of governing Fidesz, on Tuesday said he would ask the chairman of the Competition Office (GVH) to investigate banks on suspicion of cartel activity with relation to rising forint interest rates after the launch of an early forex mortgage repayment scheme.

In the past several days, a number of lenders have decided to raise interest rates on forint loans even though the central bank base rate is unchanged and there is no shortage of resources for lending, Mr Rogán said.

The increases followed the launch of a government scheme under which borrowers may repay their foreign currency-denominated mortgages at a discounted exchange rate. Lenders are covering the difference between the discounted exchange rate and the market rate. Borrowers must declare intent to participate in the scheme by the end of 2011 and make full repayment within 60 days after that.