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Ensuring Stability and Efficiency of the Hungarian Financial Sector

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  • Olena Havrylchyk

Abstract

Loan creation has not recovered after the crisis owing to a combination of demand and supply factors. Although the banking sector is sufficiently capitalised in the short term, banks are deleveraging by cutting down their dependence on cross-border financing. The ability of the financial sector to supply credit has been further stifled by a high financial levy, a de facto ban on foreign currency lending for mortgages, future uncertainties about parent banks’ funding and undermined creditors’ rights. Up to recently, new measures to restructure household loans did not help borrowers with real repayment difficulties while weakening banks’ solvency. The mid-December 2011 agreement between the government and the banking sector was a welcome step towards fair burden sharing. Bank recapitalisation, if necessary, should be done by raising the level of capital so as not to downsize loan portfolios. In the long term, the demand for credit is hampered by large price-cost margins, which call for stiffer competition. The development of the financial markets has also been adversely affected by the de facto nationalisation of mandatory pension funds, which played a crucial role in the accumulation of long-term savings. The regulation of mandatory and voluntary pension funds requires harmonisation and transparency to increase their cost-efficiency. An effective cooperation between micro and macro-prudential regulation should be ensured in practice and the financial independence of the financial supervisor strengthened. Co-operation between host and home regulatory authorities should be enhanced in a manner that accounts for systemic risks in Hungary. Finally, an effective independence of the central bank has to be guaranteed. This Working Paper relates to the 2012 OECD Economic Survey of Hungary (www.oecd.org/eco/surveys/hungary) Assurer la stabilité et l'efficience du secteur financier hongrois La production de prêts n’a pas redémarré à l’issue de la crise du fait d’une combinaison de facteurs liés à l’offre et la demande. Bien que les banques soient suffisamment capitalisées à court terme, elles diminuent leur effet de levier en réduisant leur dépendance aux financements transnationaux. La capacité du secteur financier à offrir des crédits a de plus été bridée par une taxe financière élevée, une interdiction de fait des prêts en devises, des incertitudes quant aux financements futurs émanant des maisons mères et une limitation des droits des créanciers. Jusqu’à récemment, les nouvelles mesures de restructuration des prêts ne permettaient pas d’aider les ménages confrontés à de réelles difficultés de remboursement, et réduisaient la solvabilité des banques. L’accord conclu à la mi décembre 2011 entre le gouvernement et les banques marque une étape bienvenue vers un juste partage de la charge de restructuration. La recapitalisation éventuelle des banques doit passer par une augmentation de capital afin de ne pas réduire le portefeuille de prêts. À long terme, la demande de crédit se voit freinée par des taux de marge élevés, ce qui milite en faveur d’une concurrence accrue. Le développement des marchés financiers a également subi les conséquences de la nationalisation de fait des fonds de pension obligatoires, qui ont joué un rôle essentiel dans l’accumulation de l’épargne à long terme. La réglementation des fonds de pension obligatoires et des fonds volontaires doit mettre l’accent sur l’harmonisation et la transparence afin d’augmenter leur efficacité-coût. Une coopération effective entre la réglementation prudentielle au niveau micro et macro doit être assurée et l’indépendance financière de l’autorité de supervision financière accrue. La coopération entre les autorités de tutelle des pays d’accueil et leurs homologues étrangers doit être renforcée de manière à tenir compte des risques systémiques en Hongrie. Enfin, une indépendance effective de la banque centrale doit être garantie. Ce Document de travail se rapporte à l’Étude économique de l’OCDE de la Hongrie, 2012 (www.oecd.org/eco/etudes/hongrie).

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by OECD Publishing in its series OECD Economics Department Working Papers with number 959.

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Date of creation: 23 May 2012
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Handle: RePEc:oec:ecoaaa:959-en

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Keywords: Hungary; cost-efficiency; banks; pension funds; financial stability; competition; banques; efficience-coût; Hongrie; stabilité financière; concurrence; fonds de pension;

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Cited by:
  1. Gunther Capelle-Blancard & Olena Havrylchyk, 2013. "Incidence of Bank Levy and Bank Market Power," Working Papers 2013-21, CEPII research center.
  2. Gjika, Dritan & Horváth, Roman, 2013. "Stock market comovements in Central Europe: Evidence from the asymmetric DCC model," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 33(C), pages 55-64.

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