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Felcsuti: Lex Quaestor is “incomprehensible” and sends “wrong message”

“It cannot be an acceptable solution that the state rescues everyone regardless of what kind of decision they made.” – Péter Felcsuti, former Hungarian Banking Association president

Former Raiffeisen Bank CEO Péter Felcsuti calls “incomprehensible” parliament’s decision to retroactively increase from HUF 6 million to HUF 30 million the amount of compensation to be paid Quaestor’s 32,000 bond holders.  He says the decision “sends an awkward message.”

Although he sympathizes with Quaestor’s victims, he says it is not the responsibility of the state to compensate them for their losses.  “It cannot be an acceptable solution that the state rescues everyone regardless of what kind of decision they made,” says the former Hungarian Banking Association president.

He dismisses talk of “fictive” and “non-fictive” bonds as government “word play.”

“The point is that people gave money to Quaestor and cannot get it back. Quaestor promised them 6.25% annually which they preferred over the 2% offered by state paper.”

He rhetorically asks why parliament is only compensating Quaestor’s victims on the level of HUF 30 million per investor and not Buda-Cash’s or Hungaria Security’s.  In his opinion, the reason is purely political.  The government is eager to rid itself of a serious political problem by compensating all of Quaestor’s victims at the expense of Hungary’s financial community.  He says that in this way the government is spared the inconvenience of investigating the responsibility of state officials for the collapse.

Felcsuti says the law, which was introduced to parliament by Fidesz caucus leader Antal Rogán, constitutes a clear violation of the agreement concluded two months ago in which the government agreed not to impose additional taxes or financial burdens on the banking industry.  The former Raiffeisen Bank CEO does not believe the liquidation of Quaestor assets will generate more than “20-30 percent” of their book value, and thinks it unlikely any of the HUF 170 billion to be “advanced” to the fund by financial institutions will ever be refunded.

 

Richard Field :