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Energy and Financial Law Updates in Hungary

Energy and Financial Law Updates in Hungary

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Financial law - Implementation of the “basic bank account” and simplifying the change of a payment account

As a result of the implementation of Directive 2014/92/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council on the comparability of fees related to payment accounts, changing payment account and access to payment accounts with basic features, several decrees have been issued by the Hungarian Government.

Under the new Hungarian regulations, credit institutions shall ensure the so-called ‘basic payment account’ from 15 October 2016 for those persons who could not open a bank account until now due to their modest financial status. The Government Decree on the access to basic payment accounts and the specifications and fees of the basic payment account defines the maximum monthly amount of fees and costs to be paid by the consumer for keeping the basic payment account. A separate legal regulation will determine those consumers who will be entitled to use the basic payment account free of charge.

In addition, the new Government Decree on payment account switching simplifies the change of payment account for consumers from 29 October 2016. According to the new rules, the consumer can initiate the payment account switching with an authorisation in writing filed with the new bank. The Government Decree also contains provisions for the purpose of facilitating the cross-border account-opening.

Energy Law - Amendment to the Electricity Act is in the pipeline relating to renewable energy

A new bill on the amendment to the Electricity Act designates a separate section for the special rules on wind turbines. The new provisions assign the power to the Hungarian Government to define the number of building permits and occupation permits that can be issued for the construction and/or the use of wind turbines and wind farms, and to limit their maximum capacity in each calendar year. The new rules does not allow to construct wind turbines or wind farms on world heritage areas or on protected nature areas specified by the law.

The new amendment defines the deadline for the relating proceeding of the special (sub-) authorities, as well as the period after which the given building permit shall become ineffective. In addition, the extension of the validity period of such building permit will be excluded.

By Eszter Kamocsay-Berta, Partner, KCG Partners Law Firm

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