MTI – Unicredit bank told MTI on Tuesday said that the bank “clearly wishes to remain in Hungary”. Unicredit responded to a report that the Italian bank may reconsider its business in Hungary if the government imposes a new round of taxes on banks.
The bank in a statement cited Gianni Franco Papa, the bank’s head for the CEE region, as saying the group’s Hungarian bank continues to be among the very few profitable banks on the Hungarian market.
“Naturally, we are paying attention to how the business environment develops so we can adjust our business model and ensure successful operations,” the statement said.
Earlier today Reuters reported Papa in Vienna as saying: “Hopefully they are not going to impose other taxes because this would really break the camel’s back.”
“We cannot keep on going like this. If they start again with a new round we will reconsider,” he added.
Hungarian lenders have paid a levy since 2010, and they were forced to discount exchange rates on foreign-currency-denominated loans for borrowers who opted to participate in a temporary early payback scheme that wound up early in 2012. Hungary’s government is waiting now for a decision by the country’s highest court on whether banks or borrowers should bear the burden of losses on FX loans resulting from exchange rate changes.
In addition, the banks have contended with a levy on financial transactions.