Magyar Nemzeti Bank (MNB), the central bank of Hungary, has imposed monetary penalty of HUF386.5m ($1.6m) against a total of 58 regional banks and credit institutions for alleged malpractices, including increasing bank costs and customer fees.

MNB conducted a probe into the operational procedures to check whether banks were adhering to consumer protection regulations while unilaterally raising fees, commissions and costs charged to consumers.

Following probe of 62 banks and credit institutions, the central bank found various violations, which prompted MNB to fine 58 institutions and order four to pay back to customers.

Duna Savings Bank and Buda Regional Bank were found to be the two biggest violators of regulations, and were fined HUF25m ($10,700) and HUF22.5m ($9,6304), respectively. Furthermore, six local banks were fined HUF1.5m ($6,422) each, according to the statement.

Magyar Nemzeti Bank vice governor Laszlo Windisch said, "The fines are large so that they could serve as an effective means of prevention."

In March, MNB had imposed HUF1.2bn ($5.3m) penalty against 35 larger lenders on account of passing a large share of the extra tax burden levied by the government on the banking sector in 2013 on to clients.

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The bank also levied a HUF71.75m ($3.1m) penalty on an additional ten further banks for similar violations 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 the banks were told to reimburse funds to customers.