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Hungary competition watchdog fines banks over mortgage cartel


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Hungary competition watchdog fines banks over mortgage cartel

Hungary’s competition watchdog has fined a group of banks more than 32 million euros for operating a cartel during a state-imposed scheme to help holders of disastrous foreign-currency mortgages.

Many people swapped their costly foreign-currency debt for new forint loans under the scheme, which inflicted huge losses on the country’s mostly foreign-owned commercial banks.

However, the GVH watchdog said the 11 banks in question had illegally colluded to restrict the availability of refinancing loans to reduce the scale of mortgage repayments under the scheme.