Hungarians fear for savings

Austrian retail banks have registered a spike in inquiries from Hungarian citizens about opening savings accounts in Austria, amidst mounting concerns of financial insecurity in Hungary.

Hypo-Bank Burgenland, one of the larger banks in the federal state that borders Hungary, observed a four-fold increase in accounts opened by Hungarian nationals in the first week of 2012, compared to the same period a year ago, while Raiffeisen Landesbank, the state’s largest institute, noted increased inquiries but no significant changes in actual account movements.

Entitled to move their money freely within the EU single market, Hypo-Bank’s new customers state that “they no longer completely trust that their assets are safe inHungary,” said Berthold Troiss, head office manager for the board of directors at the bank.

Troiss also said that Hypo-Bank’s Hungarian private and business customers preferred holding savings in euro rather than forint, which stood at 239 per dollar on 18 Jan., compared to 202 a year ago, marking an 18 per cent decline.

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