The global financial crisis has tested the effectiveness of supervision under the “Twin Peaks” model. The crisis revealed the strengths of the “Twin International Peaks” model, as decisions were able to be made in a timely manner to contain the crisis, and clear divisions of powers and responsibilities were instrumental in ensuring effective coordination between key agencies. However, the crisis also exposed certain areas where improvements could strengthen the “Twin Peaks” framework. Intensive and well-focused efforts are being made to strengthen the supervisory framework.
This paper presents an update to Hungary’s Financial System Stability Assessment, including a Report on the Observance of Standards and Codes on Insurance Regulation. The assessment reveals that financial intermediation in Hungary has continued to deepen. The expansion of bank lending at higher interest margins has resulted in a sharp increase in bank profitability. Although financial soundness indicators show that the banking system has evolved well overall, potential risks have emerged, which should be carefully monitored and appropriately addressed. Nonbank financial institutions remain relatively small and are not currently a source of systemic vulnerability.
This paper focuses on asset allocation decisions of life insurance companies in emerging markets. Mature market insurers allocate only a small fraction of their assets to emerging markets because of regulatory constraints, rating pressures, and currency risk. However, global insurers invest directly in emerging markets by setting up subsidiaries rather than through portfolio investment, and this trend is increasing. Local insurers largely remain captive investors of local instruments and provide stability to the domestic securities market. The regulatory regime and the liquidity and depth of local markets play an important role in asset allocation decisions of insurers. Insurance companies are increasingly adopting asset liability management and risk control measures. However, insufficiently developed local markets and regulatory interventions on the liabilities side often limit optimal asset allocation.
This paper presents key findings of the Financial System Stability Assessment Follow-up for Hungary, including Reports on the Observance of Standards and Codes on Monetary and Financial Policy Transparency, Banking Supervision, Securities Regulation, Insurance Regulation, and Payment Systems. The assessment reveals that Hungary is in the final stages of transition to a market economy and has one of the most developed and diversified financial systems in Central and Eastern Europe. The banking system is well managed and capitalized, and the quality of its assets is high.