This content is from: Local Insights

Hungary

Act No. CXII/1996 on credit institutions and financial enterprises permits the setting up of a centralized domestic electronic database. The passing on and/or accessing of database information on debtors by financial institutions and investment companies does not constitute a violation of banking secrecy. However, this database should not contain information on natural persons.

The Act was amended with effect from January 1 1998; it is now permissible to store and provide information on natural persons. The difference between data on private persons and data on non-private persons is that information on private persons is limited to a 'blacklist', ie only those debtors are recorded who have not met their obligations within 90 days of the due date. On the other hand, debtors who are non-private persons are always registered as soon as they conclude a loan or quasi-loan agreement, irrespective of whether they are in default of payment.

Since the Act was modified it is permissible for Hungarian financial institutions to pass on information even to foreign financial institutions provided:

  • the client gives written consent;
  • the data processing standards adopted by the foreign financial institution are at least as rigorous those as under Hungary law; and
  • the home state of the foreign financial institution has data protection laws offering at least as much protection as the Hungarian Act.

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