Banks repay clients almost HUF 4 bln for illegal changes to contracts

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Banks have repaid some HUF 3.95 bln so far to clients for illegally modifying contract terms and conditions, National Bank of Hungary (MNB) Deputy Governor László Windisch told Hungarian news agency MTI on Monday, concerning the MNBʼs actions against some financial institutions in 2014.

Between spring and summer of 2014, the MNB fined 142 financial institutions a total of HUF 1.86 billion for illegally raising fees and charging commissions on bank accounts, credit cards and some services that were previously free of charge.

Around 80% of the financial institutions involved accepted the fines but some 26 banks launched lawsuits, of which the MNB has won 11 outright. In one case the court ruled mostly in favor of the central bank, while three cases have been cancelled with the rest ongoing, said Windisch.

In the cases the MNB won, it forced financial institutions to repay HUF 636 million to clients, affecting 352,000 contracts. Windisch said that including banks that complied voluntarily, the numbers rise to HUF 3.95 bln and 995,000 contracts.

The deputy governor noted that the Curia, Hungaryʼs supreme court, issued a broad opinion in January that completely confirmed the MNBʼs positions in the lawsuits and could help in closing the remainder of the cases. 

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