On Monday the Parliament, supported by the Economic Committee of the Hungarian National Assembly, re-elected Gyula Pleschinger, President of the Hungarian Economic Association as member of the Monetary Council of the National Bank of Hungary for an additional term of six years.

At the Committee hearing the President of the HEA said the following: Hungary essentially meets the Maastricht criteria and therefore could join the eurozone. However, the crisis showed that accession to the euro area should be implemented with great care, and that merely satisfying the relevant criteria is not enough. He emphasized that the accession should take place when Hungary’s economic development has reached the average level of economic development characteristic in the core eurozone countries (most developed Member States). He reminded that the decision to join the eurozone lies with the Government. As he explained, the example of the Southern European states indicates that if a country is not sufficiently developed to join the eurozone, it could lead to income transfer to some more developed countries using the euro.

At the hearing Gyula Pleschinger explained that during his six-year service as member of the Monetary Council it kept permanent focus on all three requirements set out by the Central Bank Act regarding the activity of the MNB, i.e. the provision on reaching price stability, the pursuit of financial stability and the support of the Government’s economic policy. He emphasized that the central bank reduced the reference rate to record low, from 7 to 0.9 percent, and after the crisis it revived lending to both the corporate and the retail sector in Hungary so successfully that the annual growth rate of corporate lending has reached ten percent. He recalled that lending suffered a drastic setback in the post-crisis era, and with the banks tightening lending conditions, it practically resulted in a halt. Since then the central bank’s measures have brought relief, the banks introduced some more relaxed conditions and the favourable constructions proved to be attractive to borrowers in the corporate, and later on in the retail sector as well. He noted that after concluding the Funding for Growth Scheme (FGS), the central bank launched the Market-based Lending Scheme (MLS) too. The central bank’s FGS was highly successful, providing favourable constructions for SMEs in the total amount of approximately HUF 3,000 bln. Initially the FGS was rather flexible as it was available for loan redemption and current asset acquisition for SMEs, with restrictions introduced later on allowing utilization only for investment financing purposes. Gyula Pleschinger added that the FGS had achieved its goal by 2016, progressing to a ‘healthy’ growth in lending for businesses from that point onward.

Gyula Pleschinger graduated at the Faculty of Civil Engineering of the Budapest University of Technology, and then earned a degree in finance at the Budapest University of Economics. He has certificates in stock and commodity trading and in Eurobond trading as well as a US Series 7 licence in securities trading.

Following several years of experience at companies and local authorities, he was appointed Deputy Head of the Investment Department at OTP Bank in 1989. He was Chief Executive Officer of OTP Securities between 1990 and 2000, before moving on to become Deputy Chief Executive Officer in charge of the investment banking and investment services areas of Raiffeisen Bank between 2001 and 2004. From 2005 to September 2010 he worked as an independent investment adviser.

Between September 2010 and November 2011 he held the position of Chief Executive Officer of the Government Debt Management Agency. From November 2011 he served as State Secretary for tax and financial affairs at the Ministry for National Economy. In March 2013 he was appointed a Member of the Monetary Council of the Magyar Nemzeti Bank.

In addition to his office responsibilities, he has discharged a number of functions, the most notable of which are: Member and Chairman of the Supervisory Board of the Budapest Stock Exchange (1998–2001); Member of the Board and several committees of the International Securities Market Association (ISMA) headquartered in Zurich and London (1999–2005); Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Government Debt Management Agency (2012–2013); Member and Chairman of the Board of Directors of the National Deposit Insurance Fund (2012–2013); Permanent Member of the Regional Consultative Group of the Financial Stability Board headquartered in Basel (2012–2013); Deputy Governor of the World Bank and the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD), one of the institutions that constitute the World Bank Group (2012–2013); Member of the Panel of Arbitrators of the International Capital Market Association (ICMA, a successor to ISMA) (2012–); Member of the Worshipful Company of International Bankers and its Finance Committee headquartered in London (2002–); Member of the Hungarian Economic Association; Freeman of the City of London.