The European Bank Coordination (“Vienna”) Initiative (EBCI) was established in January 2009 in reaction to the financial crisis; one of its objectives is to restore the South and Central European region to the path of sustainable growth. Beyond commitments made by the parent banks, this initiative aims at managing other challenges as well, such as excessive dependence on external funds, low growth in lending and high foreign currency-denominated exposure.

The EBCI is based on cooperation between the authorities and stakeholders in the financial sector, with participation of the authorities of countries where the major bank groups are based and where they are doing business, the International Monetary Fund, the European Commission, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, the European Investment Bank, the World Bank group and the representatives of certain bank groups concerned. The European Central Bank takes part in the process as an observer.

In the framework of the initiative, in May 2009, the key parent banks in the Hungarian banking sector (Bayerische Landesbank, Erste Group Bank, RZB Group, Intesa SanPaolo, KBC Group and Unicredit Group) declared their commitment to their subsidiary banks in Hungary. At the end of 2009, with a view to reaffirming this commitment, the banks signed a letter of intent on maintaining an appropriate level of financing in Hungary.

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