Hungary’s central bank fined 58 regional banks and credit institutions a total of 386.5 million forints (1.65 million U.S. dollars), for unlawfully increasing bank costs and customer fees, the central bank’s website reported Monday.
An investigation of 62 banks and credit institutions found violations of regulations in every bank. Four facilities were required to repay customers while 58 were fined.
The bank said Duna Savings Bank and Buda Regional Bank were the two biggest offenders, fining them 25 million forints and 22.5 million forints respectively. Six local banks were fined 1.5 million forints each.
The fines follow an investigation to ascertain whether banks were adhering to consumer protection regulations when unilaterally raising fees, commissions and costs charged to consumers.
In March, 35 larger banks were fined 1.2 billion forints for similar violations, while 10 further banks were fined 71.75 million forints in July.
The most common violations included failing to include a list of reasons why banks could unilaterally raise fees in their contracts, notifying customers less than two months before the increases took effect, failing to inform customers of their right to opt out of the contract rather than pay the higher fee, and introducing new charges.
All banks were required to return the unlawfully collected funds to customers.