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3rd October, 2019

MNB may ban banks from selling gov’t bonds

Magyar Posta and the state treasury should be granted exclusive rights to sell retail government bonds in the future, depriving banks of this business, MNB deputy governor Márton Nagy has proposed.

Nagy made his case for a state monopoly on the sale of bonds to the MNB website, saying such a move would lead to substantial savings for both the state and retail investors.

Maintaining a securities account at the state treasury is free of charge, he said, as is the subscription or redemption of bonds. There is no cash withdrawal fee or financial transaction tax either, he wrote. Similar conditions are in place at Magyar Posta.

If the stock of government bonds held by households continues to grow at the current pace it will expand to Ft 11 trillion by 2023 from Ft 7 billion at present.

With non-state actors accounting for 75-80% of bond sales, this could cost the state some Ft 110 billion in commission fees until 2023, Portfolio calculates.

The sale of government bonds accounts for 10% of banks’ profits. If banks are excluded from this activity, retail investors could save a combined Ft 65 billion in the next four years.

Sources regularly consulted, with abbreviations used in text: Népszabadság (N); Magyar Hírlap (MH); Világgazdaság (VG); Napi Gazdaság (NG); Magyar Nemzet (MN); Népszava (Nsz); Kossuth Rádió news (KR); nightly TV news (TV).

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