MNB fines 35 banks HUF 1.2 billion
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The National Bank of Hungary (MNB) has reported the levying of some HUF 1.2 billion in fines on 35 Hungary-based banks for illegally raising client fees and costs; the central bank further ordered 33 of the banks to refund affected clients by April 30 and report to the central bank on their compliance by May 15.
MNB deputy governor László Windisch stated that “several hundred thousand clients” stand to receive a combined HUF 10 billion in refunds in addition.
MNB found among the offenses that banks had failed to include reasons allowing changes to fees in contracts. The offending institutions also failed to inform clients of unfavorable changes to contracts at least two months ahead of time, MNB found, and they failed to inform clients of their right to cancel their contracts free of charge during this period. Finally, some banks introduced fees for earlier “free” transactions and unduly changed the manner of collection of said fees.
The largest fines were handed out to MKB Bank (HUF 98 million), Raiffeisen Bank HUF 98 million), FHB Kereskedelmi Bank (HUF 95 million), Budapest Hitel és Fejlesztési Bank (HUF 93 million), Citibank (HUF 60 million) and OTP Bank (HUF 60 million). The maximum possible fine for such offenses was HUF 100 million.
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