Hungary’s central bank promotes green mortgages

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BUDAPEST, Dec. 16 (Xinhua) — The Central Bank of Hungary (MNB) presented a new program of preferential capital requirements on green housing loans for credit institutions based in Hungary, the MNB said here on Monday.

“The aim of the program is to distribute climate-friendly financial products and improve the energy efficiency of new homes,” MNB Deputy Governor Csaba Kandracs was quoted by the Hungarian news agency MTI as saying. “A consultation will also be launched to promote the introduction of green mortgage bonds,” he added.

The central bank’s new Green Capital Requirements Discount Program offers credit institutions preferential capital requirements on loans for the purchase, construction or renovation of energy-efficient homes between Jan. 1, 2020, and Dec. 31, 2023, and customers may also receive preferential interest rates, according to Kandracs.

At the end of the 4-year period, the central bank will evaluate the experience to decide whether or not to continue with the program.

“The MNB also wants to encourage the launch and spread of so-called green mortgage bonds in Hungary. To this end, measures will be developed in consultation with credit institutions and the possibility of preferential treatment in the mortgage financing compliance ratio will be explored,” Kandracs added.

He explained that it was typical for commercial banks not to take into account the energy performance of buildings in their lending activities, although the average energy consumption of green housing is lower.

“Thus, the customer will save money on energy bills, and the energy efficiency measures may also contribute to safeguarding the value of the property over time,” Kandracs said.

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