“The government wishes to protect against the effects of the state of emergency caused by the coronavirus epidemic on the economy and jobs through rapid measures; there will be continuous consultation between the Banking Association and the government”, Minister of Finance Mihály Varga emphasised.

This morning, the Minister held talks with representatives of the Hungarian Baking Association with relation to the announcement yesterday by Prime Minister Viktor Orbán, according to which capital and interest repayments on the part of individuals and enterprises relating to loans taken on prior to 17 March 2020 will be suspended until the end of this year.

“The government made an important decision yesterday, which affects several sectors of industry and the banking system”, pointed out Mr. Varga, who initiated a meeting today with representatives of the Hungarian Baking Association.

Mr. Varga explained that the parties had reviewed the state of the financial sector, concluding that the Hungarian banking sector is strong and stable, with 2019 having been one of the most successful years for banks this past decade, and amongst others this is why the sector has enough room for manoeuvre to now be able participate in support of the new measures. What is already certain is that loan repayment commitments will be automatically suspended, he stated.

The Minister stressed that if there is no reason to suspend repayments, it is worthwhile for clients to ask the bank to enable the continuation of repayments in accordance with the original contract. Naturally, the future recommencement of payments cannot become an unbearable burden for clients who wish to take advantage of the moratorium, and accordingly the loan period will be extended, and loans will be repaid in accordance with the type of the given contract.

President of the Hungarian Banking Association András Becsei told reporters that the banking sector is prepared to work together with the government to counteract the difficulties caused by the coronavirus epidemic, adding that all clients will be duly informed as soon as the detailed regulations are available.