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Enhancing Financial Stability Through Better Regulation in Hungary

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  • Margit Molnár

Abstract

The global crisis exposed weaknesses in the Hungarian financial system that pose risks to financial stability. Excessive risk-taking by banks and households had been masked by relatively stable exchange rates, the expected early adoption of the euro and unusually lax credit conditions in international markets. With credit becoming scarcer and dearer, the domestic economy was hit through multiple channels. The steep depreciation of the forint boosted households’ debt burden, while banks were hit by the drying up of liquidity, including in swap markets for Swiss francs. A major lesson learnt from the crisis is that the approach to household lending needs to change: a stronger protection for borrowers should be combined with a tighter regulation of lenders. Enhancing competition in the banking market would also impose discipline on lending behaviour. Financial supervision should be strengthened by enhancing the powers of the financial supervisor to avoid abusive practices and excessive risk taking. A better early-warning system needs to be created for the monitoring and assessment of systemic risks, in which a more formal Financial Stability Council should play a prominent role. This Working Paper relates to the 2010 OECD Economic Survey of Hungary (www.oecd.org/eco/surveys/hungary). Renforcer la stabilité financière en améliorant la réglementation en Hongrie La crise mondiale a révélé des faiblesses du système financier hongrois qui mettent en péril la stabilité financière. Les risques excessifs pris par les banques et les ménages avaient été masqués par la relative stabilité du taux de change, les anticipations d'adoption rapide de l'euro, et la détente inhabituelle des conditions de crédit sur les marchés internationaux. Quand le crédit est devenu plus rare et plus cher, l'économie hongroise a été touchée de multiples façons. La forte dépréciation du forint a beaucoup alourdi l'endettement des ménages, tandis que les banques ont souffert de l'assèchement de la liquidité, notamment sur le marché des contrats d'échange de forints contre francs suisses. Une des principales leçons de la crise est qu'il est nécessaire de modifier les modalités des prêts aux ménages : il faut conjuguer une plus grande protection des emprunteurs et l'application d'une réglementation plus rigoureuse aux prêteurs. Un renforcement de la concurrence sur le marché bancaire disciplinerait aussi le comportement des prêteurs. Il convient de renforcer la surveillance financière en donnant davantage de pouvoirs à l'autorité de régulation financière pour empêcher les pratiques abusives et la prise de risques excessifs. Il faut aussi créer un meilleur système d'alerte précoce pour le suivi et l'évaluation des risques systémiques, dans le cadre duquel un Conseil de stabilité financière ayant un caractère plus formel devrait jouer un rôle prédominant. Ce document de travail est lié à l'Étude économique de l'OCDE sur la Hongrie de 2010 (www.oecd.org/eco/etudes/hongrie).

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File URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1787/5kmd41chjg34-en
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by OECD Publishing in its series OECD Economics Department Working Papers with number 786.

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Date of creation: 17 Jun 2010
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Handle: RePEc:oec:ecoaaa:786-en

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Keywords: Hungary; government policy and regulation; financial crisis; financial markets and the macroeconomy; bank; marchés de capitaux et macroéconomie; crise financière; réglementation et politiques publiques; banque; Hongrie;

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