There are solicitous official bank papers in our possession (coming from bank sources and are validated) which has defiled our trust in the Hungarian bank system and the European bank network. Hopefully it is unneccessary to explain how badly it hurts our interests. The banking system of Hungary is unexampled in many ways. It is their own creation customized for our citizens only. We will now summarize the techniques which has caused tragedy for four thousand people and brought nearly three million people to the doorstep of poverty.
In this very moment we have many formal procedures running but so far we have only been partly successful. The bank scandal in London is only a trifle comparing to what’s coming in Hungary. The Hungarian National Bank (from now on: HNB) along with the merchant banks are undermining our society. They probably would have never guessed that the information we are about to share will ever come to light. You might ask: why aren’t we turning to our own authorities? We will answer that question along the letter.
In case of foreign currency loans, the 70-80 % increase of the rate of exchange caused the extreme increase of interests. Citizens have lived up their reserves during the redemption of loans, and now the majority of them do not own any saving. The merchant banks have frozen our people into their debt by counting their debt in foreign currencies. In this situation, the constitutional rights of these people are hurt or terminated. This process was instigated by external forces: the global financial crisis and growing expenses of resources for our merchant banks. Since our National Bank has unlimited source of the hungarian forint, it was ready to intervene.
The president of the HNB contributed to the process, in which the HNB provide sources for the Hungarian merchant banks through Fx-swap transactions. This act on its own is not a crime but his further behavior caused caused one. The HNB as a refinancer entered the transaction on a very forunate exchange rate and became interested in not performing risk management process for the foreign currency loans. With there risk management methods (exchange transactions, altering the actual foreign currency, etc.) the citizens’ debts could have been significantly lowered.
Most importantly, as nowadays unprofessionals are starting to understand the effect of international events (such as Italian or Spanish crisis) on the exchange rate of Hungarian forint, there are still no initiations to use these risk management methods from the merchant banks. On the level of legislation state suggests anchoring exchange rates which will result in lower interests for a limited time. In the long run however the uncontrollably high interests must be payed, which will cause the redemption to trail. This is the point where the situation turns into gambling with a really low chance to win and uncountable numbers of possible failures. Constructions that do not consider the average lifespan or the "working time" of people are causing unbelievable situations now and later.
It can be seen in HNB statements that refinancing is not happening through the merchant banks but through their parent companies thus making prices higher. This method helps preserving appearance of "parent company help" but for local merchant banks finding sources is going to become a multiplayer situation, where their expenses increase and their profit decreases.
Therefore the profit of local merchant banks looks lower and this "lost" profit appears directly at the parent establishments. By increasing the price of sources and insterests of debts, this hurts clients, and by having less profit and more taxes, it hurts Hungarian banks as well. The HNB "sold out itself in foreign currency, which means the decrease of exchange rate for Hungarian forint will bring profit, and the increase of it will cause losses. The latter is actually out of the book right now because it is hard to even imagine significant increase in the exchange rate. This means Hungarian people and the HNB are on opposite sides of the field. Important to mention that we are not talking about general devaluation of Hungarian forint but the exchange rate comparing to CHF.
Considering the magnitude and the nature of this transaction, HNB leadership should have been aware their resources are needed because of foreign currency debts of Hungarian people. One of the outcomes of this transaction is the exchange rate profit from HUF devaluation. The president of HNB who own considerable saving (multibillionaire investment on Cyprus) should be aware that the risks of foreign currency capital can be managed in many ways. It can and should be done by merchant banks since in contracts they are permitted to do practically anything (being financial experts), it is no longer a possibility but a responsibility.
Authors of "Swiss frank in Europe" consider it calming that debt contracts can only be modified by the banks, because it is important only in case of significant increase of CHF or decrease of HUF exchange rate.
Risk management would have meant a lot for all of debtors. Observing the exchange rate of CHF and HUF in a longer interval (20-25 years) it is clear that the CHF is getting stronger in the long run. Clients who have chosen debts converted into this currency must have been warned of this course, and without risk management banks pratically lured their clients into a trap. Residental information contained a 10 to 15 percent exchange rate mobility at the point of loan takeouts, which was actually justified by reports looking back a few months or a year.
Next to or instead of obligatory risk warnings, no risk management information were spread out. It must be stated that whoever is causing multitudinous risk taking and gives information to people, will cause nationwide situations when the risky event actually occurs. Without the control and competence of authorities the consequences of regulatory establishments' failures can not be shifted off to the clients.
Loaning merchant banks stood by watching clients' personal assets disappear along with their collateral security. There is no effect without a cause even in financial world, and the cause in this case is greed. It must be stated that we are not talking about 70-80% devaluation of HUF, the change was not caused by inflation or consumer price index. The Hungarian forint devaluated only comparing to the "safe currency" of Swiss frank.
This situation is held by HNB since 2008 so that today foreign banks (and indirectly Hungarian debtors) owe foreign currency worth 9500 billion HUF. This explains that after anchoring exchange rate of interest the estate of HNB including foreign currency claims decreased. Loaned amount was about 5000 to 6000 billion HUF with higher exchange rate which has grown to 9500 billion HUF on today's exchange rate. This transaction was not invented in Hungary, IMF lead economist prof. Jang Yung Lee explained foreign currency loans based on national banks' sources in 1997. Point is, with is foreign currency loans could lead to loans with more favorable interests. This must, however, happen under strict control, because it can cause national banks' working against stability of national currency and merchant banks can lure clients into less fortunate situations with one-sided contracts.
It is important that in many cases, there is proof that there were swap transactions in individual clients' positions of which the clients have not been told and the profit appears as the bank's own profit. There are many complaints regarding this in process right now. Banks deny these transactions because they are proof that risk management can be done by simple swap transactions. The fact that authorities deny this possibility however may raise troubling question. This could be happening because they have been unaware or biased.
By clearing away the intervention zone on 26th February 2008, HNB changed to floating exchange rate system. Till this point, the exchange rate of HUF were loosely anchored to the exchange rate of EUR and comparing to other foreign currencies had the stability of EUR exchange rate. Deceitful to say it was needed because of Hungary adapting euro, which was the main argument in communication of the government and HNB. In the light of such events it is at least interesting that this act was preceeded by consultations between the government and HNB. Authors of Swiss study mentioned before considered both the act itself and its timing solicitous.
Extremely important to mention that this study outlines based on HNB and PSZÁF (Hungarian authority supervising financial establishments) statements that there were no financing or refinancing these loans with CHF or CHF-based assets. This means merchant banks have no actual foreign currency liabilities, if they had, risk management would be shared responsibility, because the financial incapability of clients would cause the financial incapability of banks in the long run. The worldwide crisis which started in the USA reached Hungary as well, but warning signs could already be seen in 2007. Incapability and bad situaltional awareness of governing authorities and supervisors caused a national security issue. Obviously because of the volume of this case, investigation would seriously harm interests, and people responsible for this situation are in high position, making them practically invulnerable.
Dear Members of EP, this is why we are turning to you. Emergency situation is about to break out. Families being evicted and families being torn apart every day. And all this happening because of a financial trick. It could also be intentional, because debtors were in lack of neccessary skills and knowledge and practically have been fouled. Banks have their risks and profit covered by security assets and swap transactions, debtors are literally risking their own life... pointlessly.
Let ut shortly summarize why we founded our association.
Bankcsapda Érdekvédelmi Civil Szövetség (loosely tranlates as Bank Trap Civil Lobby Association) is connected in no way to any political party or organization. It work only in the name of fouled foreign currency debtors. It has no ideological connection as a NGO. Our role is vital because "hard times" will eventually turn out to be even harder. Since national politics has no answers to many social and economical issues, we feel that the people, debtors and their allies shall step forth so that three million people could rely on actual deeds, not just words. We ask you to listen to three million people calling for help, to claim in the European Parliament, in comittees, call upon Hungarian authorities, that everyone in Europe wants to know the truth.
Bankcsapda Érdekvédelmi Civil Szövetség