HUNGARIAN BANKING ASSOCIATION
on the lending moratorium
The global coronavirus epidemic brings complex challenges for the economy.
The Prime Minister has announced that he will take significant economic measures. The main financial element of these measures is the moratorium on retail and corporate loan repayments until December 31, 2020. This can be a quick and efficient aid for families and enterprises in need. On March 19, 2020 the financial sphere, i.e. banks and leasing companies, stopped collecting repayments based on the measures prescribed by the government decree. However, customers who do not wish to take advantage of the moratorium may continue repaying their loans with the original terms of their contract – they possess both the right and the opportunity to do so.
The banking sector will ensure that a declaration can be submitted to indicate such an intent, and that it will be possible to retract in the future. We are currently working on the sample declaration form, we ask for your patience until it is published. Please do not contact banks’ customer services with your anticipatory questions as they might be overburdened in this time of emergency. We especially ask that you avoid walking into bank branches.
The detailed rules and the implementation process for the Prime Minister’s announcement are being consulted and elaborated. We kindly ask our customers to be patient in the next few days. Once the above mentioned technicalities have been worked out, everyone concerned will receive detailed information. The government decision and its indirect impact are very significant. The banking sector possesses the liquidity necessary for it. The interest income, the collection of which will now be delayed, amounts to nearly 450 billion forints, whereas the free liquidity ensuring the stability of the banking sector is over 13 000 billion forints. This volume is made possible by the regulations instated after the 2008 economic crisis that necessitate the accumulation of capital, as well as by the liquidity of money markets.
The financial sector trusts that through the precise and strict implementation of the government measures the national economy has the chance to get through these critical times over the course of a few months.
The duration of the moratorium extends beyond the crisis management period and is likely to stretch into the relaunch period. In addition to implementing the measures, the banking sector is also preparing to relaunch economic activity after the epidemic is over. In order to do this, it is essential to have a harmonized and all-comprehensive common economic package where Hungarian banks will play a key role, just as they have in the past. In order to sustainably finance the rebuilding of the national economy, it is necessary to terminate the extra burdens on the financial institutions sector. Therefore, we ask for all levies and special taxes burdening banks to be phased out starting from January 1, 2020.
March 19, 2020 Hungarian Banking Association
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The Hungarian Banking Association celebrated the 30th anniversary of its establishment on April 4-5, 2019 with a ceremonial program series. This anniversary date coincided with the 100th anniversary of the establishment of the Banking Association’s predecessor, the Association of Savings Banks and Banks (TÉBE). On the opening date the financial sector held an International Financial Leaders’ Forum, which was opened by Minister of Finance, Mihály Varga.* The closing event of the program series was the Hungarian Banking Association’s General Meeting, where the leaders of the Banking Association’s members decided to adopt the following communiqué:
On the occasion of our 30th anniversary, we are grateful to the banking leaders and their work who founded the Hungarian Banking Association in 1989. With the step they took, the Hungarian banking sector was able to reestablish its own advocacy group after forty years of forced suspension. In the past few decades the Hungarian Banking Association became a well-known and definitive professional advocacy institution. Its activities cover the entire financial sphere and its domestic and international involvement has become indispensable in the field of advocacy, cooperation for economic development and the raising of financial awareness. The Hungarian Banking Association has become the “voice” of the Hungarian banking sector that people expect to, from time to time, publish guiding opinions, resolutions on both domestic and international economic changes.
These days worry mixes with trust when we speak about Europe’s economic and financial developments. Despite the challenges we face, we still must represent our fundamental interest, which is for the European Union’s economy to grow, for the Union to strengthen and for all those nation states which are part of it geographically, economically and culturally to find their homes within it. It is based on sustainable economic growth that our sector’s fundamental interest is to moderate the uncertainties and detrimental consequences of BREXIT. This is also the reason why we support that our neighbors from the South should enter the EU as soon as possible. It is the common interest of the nation states of a unifying and growing European economy to play a definitive role in the development of the world economy. Here we must emphasize that the banking sector can ensure the growth of the European economy through the role it plays in individual countries and its existing liquidity. At the same time the foundations for increasing our regional and international competitiveness can only be laid down by an efficient and unified European regulatory environment.
Amidst the many extraordinary challenges of the past few years, the President of our Association, Mr. Mihály Patai, has quoted a Bible-derived expression for cyclical development several times: the seven years of famine and the seven years of plenty. The first period not only burdened the sector with many types of loss, but also, lacking the necessary sources, developments that would have been necessary lagged behind. The banking sector concluded a successful year in 2018. At the current state of the cycle, hopefully at the beginning of an upward trend, we must make up for what has been delayed both in terms of development and efficiency. This is the only way we can provide the necessary impulses to aid the development of sustainable economic growth in the age of digital transition. We cannot forget our seven years of famine, since on the one hand the true balance sheet is derived from the evaluation of both halves of the cycle, while on the other, lessons from society may greatly help new regulations to improve competitiveness, and with it, sustainable growth.
The upcoming period will concentrate on the digitalization of banking services. The entire banking sector is preparing to grant all the innovative services that can provide the customer experience through a truly safe IT interface. The banking sector is preparing to take the lead in the market as the provider of safe financial services, and the foundations for this endeavor will be its commitment to innovations, the capital power of the sector and its comprehensive experience in IT and knowledge about its customers. Today, the Hungarian banking sector is in the forefront internationally in customer safety, and this will continue to be so in the digital age. From the point of view of customer safety, it is also important that the regulator provide the same conditions and establish the same requirements for both the old and new, the classic and the innovative actors of the market.
As part of the anniversary program series, the Hungarian Banking Association’s Golden Beehive Awards were awarded to upper leaders who have played a significant role in developing the banking sector and to professionals who performed outstanding work for the Banking Association.
For their work in the banking sector:
- Mr. Włodzimierz Kiciński, Executive Vice President of the Polish Bank Association,
- Ms. Erika Kovács, Chair of the Hungarian Financial Arbitration Board,
- Mr. János Nyemcsok, General Deputy Chief Executive Officer of MKB Bank
- Mr. Jenő Siklós, Deputy Chief Executive Officer of Gránit Bank,
- Ms. Andrea Wéber, General Manager at CIB Bank,
- Mr. László Wolf, Deputy Chief Executive Officer of OTP Bank.
For their work at the Hungarian Banking Association:
- Ms. Erzsébet Büki, Head of Product & Sales at Oberbank,
- Mr. Zoltán Fényi, Chief Legal Counsel at Sberbank,
- Mr. Csaba Molnár, Head of Department at Raiffeisen Bank,
- Mr. Zsolt Pál, Associate Professor at the University of Miskolc,
- Mr. Szabolcs Pintér, Chief Accountant at Bank of China.
*After the Financial Leaders’ Forum at MKB Bank, OTP Bank invited the delegates from 13 countries, the government and central bank representatives and the Hungarian bank leaders to a Gala Dinner, where they were welcomed by Ms. Andrea Bártfai-Mager, Minister without Portfolio for the Development of Public Assets, and Mr. Gergely Gulyás, Minister of the Prime Minister’s Office. On the second day, the morning of April 5th, the sector organized an international conference with the support of OTP Bank, where Mr. Balázs Rákossy, State Secretary for the Utilization of EU Funds at the Ministry of Finance, and Mr. László Windisch, Deputy Governor of Magyar Nemzeti Bank (the Central Bank of Hungary) both held presentations. Presentations were also held by guests from the Hungarian and the international banking sectors, by Mr. Sándor Csányi, Chairman and CEO of OTP Bank, Mr. Mihály Patai, President of the Hungarian Banking Association, and Mr. Wim Mijs, Chief Executive Officer of the European Banking Federation. After this, the delegates from the European banking associations consulted on cooperation between Europe and Asia with Mr. Yang Zaiping, Secretary General of the Asian Financial Cooperation Association (AFCA).
April 5, 2019, Budapest Hungarian Banking AssociationMore details >>
October 9, 2018
How not to get caught in the phishing net
Each month over 100 people in Hungary fall victim to phishing
Although companies in the market are continually improving their security systems, customers must also be more cautious
Over 100 cases of phishing are reported in Hungary each month according to statistics by authorities and corporations. This number, however only represents a fraction of the actual frauds committed: it is estimated that the number of people who fall victim to telephone and online fraud every year is among the thousands. Domestic market actors (credit institutions, telecommunication companies and utility service providers) apply advanced defense systems against phishers and alert their customers when they realize that fraud is being committed. Still, we must always pay just as careful attention to the money on our bank accounts as to the money in our wallets. With the aid of their joint press event and statement, the Hungarian Police Headquarters, the Hungarian Banking Association and the National Cyber Security Center would like to emphasize that preventing cyber crime is a common social interest and task.More details >>
On 20 April 2018, the Hungarian Banking Association held its annual General Meeting, attended by the CEOs of financial institutions, as well as Mihály Varga, Minister for National Economy and Deputy Governors of the National Bank of Hungary: Ferenc Gerhardt.
The General Meeting commemorated Mr Zoltán Urbán, Member of the Hungarian Banking Association’s Board and former CEO of Eximbank, who had passed away tragically and unexpectedly.
The General Meeting elected Tamás Bernáth (MFB - CEO) as the new Member of the Hungarian Banking Association’s Board.
The CEOs of the Hungarian Banking Association’s member institutions have decided to issue the following statement:
We can report that after a long and difficult period following the year 2008, in 2017 the Hungarian banking sector closed an outstandingly good year. Last year’s profitability fits in with international and regional trends. The profits realised typically went into profit reserves, which, due to more intense lending activities, support the accelerating growth of the economy. The foundations of the banking sector’s positive results were laid down by the sector’s stable operation and the favourable evolution of lending costs. At the same time, keeping up with the dynamic rate of technical evolution and changing customer needs requires on-going rejuvenation, adaptation and innovation on the part of the sector’s players.
‘The banking sector can only serve the economy’s development in an economic environment offering predictable legal, taxation and governance conditions, and other economic players also expect a similar environment. Therefore, in our relationship with the legislator and the authorities, we continue to place the emphasis on co-operation and scrupulous professional discussions.’ – explained Mihály Patai, President of the Hungarian Banking Association.
All players in the Hungarian banking sector support the key joint objective of strengthening continuity and predictability in financial policy. This can ensure the successful short-term and long-term operation of businesses and creditors alike. After the dynamic utilisation of EU funds, a new era is approaching, where each economic player is compelled to find the competitive development path that will determine its future. The domestic banking sector has sufficient capital strength and liquidity for funding any necessary reorganisation and developments.
We must not forget about the international competitive situation either. In order to improve our competitiveness, it is essential that in the years ahead of us we quit the regulatory race taking place amongst European states, by overcoming bureaucratic over-regulation at national level. The achievement of this objective could be greatly helped if the legislator involved representatives of the financial sector in the preparatory process of legislation from an early stage in the regulatory process. To allow the Hungarian economy to perform well and in a sustainable way, and to facilitate its extension beyond national borders, the financing Hungarian financial institutions must reclaim and retain their regional competitiveness. Therefore, we consider the lifting of extra burdens, initially imposed as crisis management solutions, inevitable. They include
- the staged discontinuation of special taxes imposed on banks and financial institutions,
- the whitening of the economy and the reduction and eventual withdrawal of the transaction levy, which goes against the elimination of cash, including, in particular
- the abolishing of all forms of taxes and levies imposed in respect of free banking services (such as the free cash withdrawal allowance of 150 thousand HUF/month).
The Hungarian financial market is part of the European and global markets. At times when protectionist trends also threaten the Hungarian economy, the assertion of our interest can only be achieved subject to the harmonised development of the European Union and the deepening of economic integration, and therefore we are committed to these objectives. We also believe that the conclusion of Brexit negotiations in a way that allows existing economic connections to be retained, is to be commended. In terms of global bank regulations, we consider the globally consistent application of regulations desirable, to ensure that the development of the European Union’s financial system and the extension of its economy can take place free of competitive disadvantages, in a sustainable manner.
The Hungarian Banking Association traditionally grants awards to bank colleagues who have made a significant contribution to the operation and development of the banking sector, at its General Meeting. In 2018, the Hungarian Banking Association’s Golden Beehive Award was granted to:
- Bence Gáspár (OTP Bank) for his outstanding communication activities and dedication in the banking sector;
- Rita Jeges (Erste Bank) for her dedicated and constructive support for the Hungarian Banking Association’s work;
- Marcell Király (K&H Bank) for his outstanding work in the corporate financing and SME development areas of the banking sector;
- Róbert Nagy (Garantiqa Hitelgarancia) for his outstanding and innovative activities contributing to the growth of guaranteed lending to small and medium-size enterprises;
- Attila Rankó (Deutsche Bank) for his outstanding professional activities in the area of payments and in the adaptation of European banking regulations.
20 April 2018
Hungarian Banking AssociationMore details >>