The Central Bank of Hungary (MNB) has announced plans to open offices in a number of foreign cities, including Buenos Aires and Beirut, according to a report that aired on independent broadcaster RTL Klub on Wednesday. Former MNB deputy chairman Zoltán Bodnár believes there is absolutely no need for such offices and warns that they will cost Hungarian taxpayers “many hundreds of millions of forints.”
RTL Klub reports that MNB wants to open offices in Rome, Hamburg, Paris, Beirut, Buenos Aires and New York. When asked by the independent news channel why the offices were necessary, the Central Bank responded that “MNB’s goal is for the Hungarian Central Bank and the analysis taking place within the bank to be connected to the international scientific blood circulation, and to strengthen technical cooperation with partner institutes.”
According to MNB each office is to consist of “an office manager, an economics-financial analyst and an assistant.” As to how much this will cost taxpayers, the central bank told RTL it could not say because it had yet to open a single international office.
The MNB spokesperson was evidently not aware that before 1989 MNB maintained a number of foreign offices that were closed in the 1990s.
Bodnár told RTL that “this will ensure very comfortable lives to some people” by enabling them to spend time in places like Rome and Berlin, but “the MNB representatives will hardly have an unbelievable amount of work with which to fill their eight-hour workdays.”