MNB deputy-gov resigns

Interview

National Bank of Hungary deputy-governor Júlia Király – the only remaining member of the central bank's rate-setting Monetary Council not appointed under the present government – announced her resignation on Monday because of changes made under recently appointed governor György Matolcsy.
    Király told journalists she submitted her letter of resignation to President János Áder, effective April 22 or earlier pending the appointment of a replacement. Ms Király said in the letter distributed to journalists that her resignation was a "signal of the severity of the situation" at the central bank. She said decisions taken at the MNB under Matolcsy in the past month "could cause serious damage not only to the MNB but to the Hungarian economy in the long term".
    Király said the MNB staff that prepares the material on which the Council bases its decisions had been placed under a deputy-governor who "lacks the appropriate theoretical knowledge and practical professional experience" necessary for the job. The MNB research staff is overseen by deputy-governor Ádám Balog, who was appointed early in March, around the same time as Matolcsy.
    She warned that decision to end the MNB's earlier practice of holding press conference after rate-setting meetings of the Council "could lead to a deterioration in the central bank's external assessment and to increased uncertainty".
    Király said changes to the way the Council operates left "no manner for worthwhile professional debate". She said she had received some official documents necessary to prepare for decisions as a Council member after the prescribed deadline. She added that some such documents were only distributed to Council members during the course of meetings which were shortened on the proposal of Matolcsy.
    Király said she saw an "increased chance for insufficiently established, mistaken decisions" and had no wish to take any responsibility for these either as deputy-governor or as a member of the Council. Király's six-year mandate was set to expire in July.

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