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2010 OECD Economic Surveys: Hungary 2010

image of OECD Economic Surveys: Hungary 2010

OECD's periodic survey of Hungary's economy.  This 2010 edition includes chapters covering restoring sustainable growth, sustaining fiscal reform, enhancing financial stability through better regulation, and raising education's contribution to growth.

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Enhancing financial stability through better regulation

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.

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