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Bank complaint on government taxing free service

November 14, 2013

The Hungarian Banking Association considers free cash withdrawals just passed by lawmakers unfair and also detrimental on a social level. The new law requires banks to offer ATM withdrawals for free, yet pay tax on the transactions.

Banking Association chief
secretary Levente Kovács is quoted by the financial website as saying
in a recent radio interview that the two cash withdrawals made free of charge
up to HUF 150,000 a month will put a HUF 42 bn financial transaction tax (FTT) on
the banks and HUF 100 bn extra burden on the society.

Kovács said a system where
banks are obliged to offer free services and yet must pay financial transaction
tax on these is unfair. "It is if the state would impose a tax on those
who perform community service," he offered an analogy.

He said this law creates a
costly and inefficient system. A solution would be to eliminate FTT on payment
card transactions because that would not only ensure free cash withdrawals –
since a majority of the banks had already been offering this up until the
introduction of the FTT – but also eliminate the risk of less frequent card
usage which fuels the grey economy.

Kovács also noted that the
banks will need to create a complex registration system to make sure one person
requests the two free cash withdrawals a month only on one bank account.


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