The government has decided to extend the Széchenyi Card programme, a state scheme that provides cheap credit to businesses, and streamline and consolidate its credit products, Economic Development Minister Márton Nagy has said. The new Széchenyi Card loans, carrying a fixed rate of 3.5% or lower, will be available from July 2022 until the end of this year, the minister said in a statement. “Hungary’s government is committed to supporting Hungarian families and businesses in spite of the economic difficulties caused by the war. SMEs form the economic backbone of the country and provide livelihood for hundreds of thousands of families so it is key to support them with credit. Providing adequate and well-structured lending to businesses is a key pillar of growth. The government can promote this economic policy goal by improving the conditions of SME financing through providing interest subsidies and credit guarantee,” the statement said.
The Széchenyi Card programme, launched in 2022, has helped Hungarian SMEs obtain preferential credit of more than 4,600 billion forints (EUR 11.5bn) in 390,000 transactions. Széchenyi Card loans now account for 13% of the sector’s total loan portfolio, with state-owned guarantor Garantiqa backing 39% of its loans, the minister said.