Budapest, December 11 (MTI) – The government has a vested interest in the success of the country’s savings cooperatives, because they can “bring stability and peace of mind to at least one segment of the economy”, the prime minister said at a year-end event for savings cooperatives on Wednesday evening.
Orban said it was an “important moment” when the decision was taken to “renew” the savings cooperative sector, while acknowledging the resulting disputes as well as the “political price” paid.
The savings cooperative sector was integrated under a government initiative, starting in the summer of 2013, with the aim of creating synergy and helping savings cooperatives meet stricter European Union capital adequacy requirements.
Orban said the government had decided to renew the sector because of lessons learnt during the crisis. Regardless of how close international cooperation is, if there is a crisis “everybody rushes home”, taking with them financing for lending, he said.
If Hungary does not have its own system of institutions to give it financial sovereignty, it will remain alone, as it remained alone in the 2008 crisis, Orban said. That is why it was decided that the country needed sovereign Hungarian financial institutions, he added.
“We are more secure now than before the last crisis,” he said, noting that more than 50 percent of the country’s banking and financial system is now in Hungarian hands.
Orban said savings cooperatives that had joined in the restructuring of the sector were now doing well. The situation of institutions that chose not to cooperate “is another matter”, he added, noting that these institutions must be dealt with fairly, though they must take responsibility for themselves.
He said the government would do everything in its power to ensure that savings cooperatives who did join the integration can say that cooperating with the government is not just the right and honourable thing to do, but rewarding, too.