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Database of national-level policy measures

Eurofound's EU PolicyWatch collates information on the responses of government and social partners to the COVID-19 crisis, the war in Ukraine, rising inflation, as well as gathering examples of company practices aimed at mitigating the social and economic impacts.

Factsheet for measure HU-2020-12/652 Updated – measures in Hungary

Suspension on loan payments for companies

Tőke és kamatfizetési kötelezettség felfüggesztése vállalatoknak

Country Hungary , applies nationwide
Time period Temporary, 18 March 2020 – 31 December 2022
Context COVID-19
Type Legislations or other statutory regulations
Category Supporting businesses to stay afloat
– Deferral of payments or liabilities
Author Nóra Krokovay (KOPINT-Tárki) and Eurofound
Measure added 15 April 2020 (updated 27 February 2023)

Background information

Under Section 1 of the 47/2020 government decree and 62/2020 providing details to it, the reason for this measure is to alleviate the adverse effects of the coronavirus pandemic during the period Hungary is in an ‘emergency situation’ announced by the government. Another goal is to keep lending activities afloat despite the crisis. The payment moratorium for companies was one of the first measures announced by the Hungarian government, at the proposal of the central bank.

Content of measure

Every commercial loan or financial lease under a loan contract signed before 2020 March 18 will receive a freeze on loan repayments, capital repayment and any related fees until at least 31 December 2020 (can be extended). The length of the loan will be extended with the period of the freeze. The Banking Association said the the interest on deferred loan payments would amount to about HUF 450 billion in the 9-month period, but our estimations based on partner interviews suggest it would be at most half of that amount. After the freeze period the loan is extended to the period necessary to keep loan payments to their pre-COVID levels and banks cannot charge compound interest either. These rules apply to any fees related to the loan, too. Based on central bank data, the measure could affect up to HUF 8,300 billion worth of bank loans at 33,000 companies.


The following updates to this measure have been made after it came into effect.

13 December 2022

The minister for economic development announced in December 2022 that the loan payment freeze in effect since 2020 will be terminated as of 1 January 2023. The number of companies opting for the scheme continued to drop, to 1% by August and even further later on, the minister said, adding that legislation would be passed to make sure that monthly repayments do not rise, rather the term of the loan will be extended when borrowers continue with their repayment.

15 September 2021

An extension of the suspension of loan repayments was approved until 31 October 2021 for anybody and until 30 June 2022, by request, for companies that had lost 25% or more of their revenues in 2020.

Based on govt decrees 536/2021 and 537/2021, banks must also recalculate some of the interest accumulated on credit card loans and lower the interest debt to the average market interest rate.

Miklós Losoncz, an economist, said that about 60,000 companies were in the suspension scheme in December 2020, affecting nearly 44% of business loans. By September 2021, about 35,000 companies were still in the suspension programme. According to a central bank estimate, in the case of about 12% of company loans the risk of non-performance would grow if the suspension was lifted and they are considered vulnerable businesses.

01 January 2021

Under government decree 637/2020 the extension of the loan repayment freeze will now apply to all companies, not just those in strain.

20 October 2020

An extension of the suspension (moratorium) on loan repayments until 30 June 2021:

The law targets certain individuals and companies in financial strain and it is said to be a temporary measure to stabilise their situation. If a business is unable to make loan repayment, the creditors will contact them and renegotiate the terms of their loan contract to restore financial credibility. The type of businesses that qualify as "being in strain" will be determined by a separate government decree which is forthcoming. The suspension must be requested in writing by the company.

Use of measure

In its June 2020 Inflation Report, the bank said that the measure was intended to help businesses’ liquidity tensions. Out of a total of HUF 2,500 billion (€7.44 billion) worth of loans eligible for the repayment deferral, HUF 1,500 billion worth of company loan repayments were actually deferred under the scheme by June 2020. This is estimated to be equivalent to about 6.5% of companies’ annual payroll costs. The measure could have an indirect effect on employment, as companies with long-term loans employ about 1.25 million people. Sectors that are indebted to a higher rate include: agriculture commerce, accommodation and catering, and processing.

The deferral is likely to bear higher risk of rising cost for companies in sectors like tourism or catering which may not be able to bounce back quickly after reopening the economy.

Target groups

Workers Businesses Citizens
Does not apply to workers Applies to all businesses Does not apply to citizens

Actors and funding

Actors Funding
National government
Company / Companies
No special funding required

Social partners

Social partners' role in designing the measure and form of involvement:

Trade unions Employers' organisations
Role Unknown Unknown
Form Not applicable Not applicable

Social partners' role in the implementation, monitoring and assessment phase:

  • Unknown
  • Main level of involvement: Unknown



Views and reactions

The Banking Association was involved in talks.


  • 18 March 2020: Government decree 47/2020 (EN)
  • 23 March 2020: How does the loan payment moratorium affect each sector (
  • 24 March 2020: Government Decree 62/2020 (EN
  • 25 June 2020: MNB Inflation Report June 2020 pg22
  • 21 October 2020: Extended loan moratorium - all you need to know (
  • 22 October 2020: Extension of loan moratorium until 30 June 2021 (
  • 22 December 2020: Govt decree 637/2020 on general extension of loan payment freeze
  • 01 January 2021: Govt decree 107/2020
  • 15 September 2021: Govt decree 536/2021
  • 15 September 2021: Government decree 537/2021
  • 13 December 2022: Loan repayment freeze ends (


Eurofound (2020), Suspension on loan payments for companies, measure HU-2020-12/652 (measures in Hungary), EU PolicyWatch, Dublin,


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Disclaimer: This information has not been subject to the full Eurofound evaluation, editorial and publication process.