(MTI) – K and H Bank and MKB Bank on Monday moved to suspend the court case in which it is defending unilateral changes it made to foreign currency borrowers’ contracts, but the court turned down both requests.
K and H Bank asked the court to appeal to the Constitutional Court and the European Court of Justice over the Budapest Municipal Court case.
MKB Bank also requested a suspension of the case and similarly asked the municipal court to turn to the Constitutional Court and the European court, arguing that the law which serves as the basis for the trial was unconstitutional and violated the right to a fair procedure. Further, the bank said the case ran counter to the prohibition of retroactive legislation.
Similarly, the court threw out a case initiated by small lender Milton Hitelezesi, saying that whereas unilateral changes might be stipulated in loan contracts, such changes must not overturn the balance between loan and repayment.
The government spokeswoman told MTI that the government “continues to stand by forex loan holders”.
“It is good news that in the cases so far we have managed to protect debtors against the banks,” Eva Kurucz said, underlining the government’s commitment to ensure that borrowers are “reimbursed for any unfairly collected amount”.
Hungary’s banks have filed a total 79 cases against the state to defend unilateral changes they have made to forex loan contracts, Municipal Court of Budapest spokesman Peter Pota told MTI on Monday, the last day such cases could be initiated.
Under legislation approved in July, Hungarian lenders must compensate clients for unilateral changes to contracts unless they can successfully defend the practice in court.
The legislation was based on an earlier ruling by the Kuria, Hungary’s supreme court, under which any changes to loan contract denominated in a foreign currency, such as raising the interest rate or any fees, are seen as unfair.
Photo: MTI – Noemi Bruzak