Document Type

Case Study

Case Series

Broad-Based Emergency Liquidity

JEL Codes

G01, G28


Amid the global credit crunch in late 2008, foreign investors dumped Hungarian assets, the Hungarian forint (HUF) depreciated, and liquidity deteriorated in the Hungarian banking sector due to the prevalence of short-term, foreign currency-denominated liabilities. On March 10, 2009, the Hungarian government established a scheme to provide up to HUF 1.1 trillion (USD 4.9 billion) in foreign exchange liquidity to domestic credit institutions and subsidiaries of foreign banks. The government used funds provided by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and European Union (EU) in October 2008, a USD 25.1 billion package to provide Hungary with sufficient foreign exchange reserves to meet broad external, foreign-currency obligations. Earlier efforts to establish voluntary guarantees and recapitalizations for Hungarian banks using the IMF-EU funds were unsuccessful, and markets remained concerned about the liquidity of Hungary’s banks. By January 2010, the liquidity scheme had lent HUF 690 billion (USD 3 billion) to three domestic banks. Over the next four years, the EC repeatedly reapproved the scheme for six-month extensions, although the facility did not originate any further loans. The scheme was finally allowed to expire on June 30, 2013.

Date Revised