“The strong and modern insurance sector is playing an important role in the growth of the economy, the maintaining of financial stability, and the financial security of families”, Minister of Finance Mihály Varga declared at an international conference organised by the Association of Hungarian Insurance Companies (MABISZ).

“The Hungarian economy is providing a suitable foundation for the development of the insurance sector, the turnover of which exceeded one trillion forints (EUR 3 billion) last year and has increased by a further 10 percent so far this year, with first quarter after-tax profits reaching 40 billion forints (EUR 120 million)”, the Finance Minister emphasised.

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“Continuously increasing employment, growing earnings and consumption, and increasing financial awareness have also contributed to the performance of the insurance sector”, Mr. Varga stated. “Parallel to this, savings also increased at a rapid rate, and according to financial accounts for the third quarter, the financing capability of households reached 5% of GDP, while savings increased by almost 3000 billion forints (EUR 9 billion), all of which also reinforces the sector’s prospects”, he explained.

The Minister of Finance also drew attention to the fact that increasing the population’s financial knowledge and promoting self-reliance is in the interests of the Hungarian economy’s participants, because this contributes to economic growth, and also to the development of the system of financial institutions. “This is why the government adopted the seven-year strategy on developing the population’s financial awareness, as a result of which savings on the part of families have tangibly improved”, he stated. The Minister said it is important to build financial awareness into public education, recalling the series of events organised with relation to the topic, within the framework of which 200 thousand students from over 1200 schools took have taken part in informative financial programs this year.

Concerning measures aimed at regulating the sector, Mr. Varga explained that the new directive on insurance brokerage has introduced stricter rules on the provision of information, reinforced existing consumer protection regulations and provided more detailed regulations concerning the minimal elements of contracts, all of which has increased consumer confidence and security. “Although the European Commission has begun the review of the directive, the government’s position on this is clear: the investigation cannot lead to the regulations becoming more complicated or to the amendment of elements that are functioning well”, the Minister of Finance reminded those present.