Banking: today and tomorrow | An overview of the banking sector | February 2023

9 February 2023 | Banking today and tomorrow, Knowledge, News

The KNF relaxes creditworthiness assessment conditions

The lowest, minimum buffer level (2.5 p.p.) should apply to credits with a periodically fixed interest rate and should be appropriately higher for credits with a variable interest rate, said the KNF, softening its position due to the lower risk of rising interest rates.


WIBOR is slowly becoming a thing of the past, as WIRON will soon be the basis for calculating instalments

BNP Paribas Bank Polska and ING Bank Śląski are two large institutions that have stopped granting mortgages with WIBOR-based interest rates. For the time being, they will offer credits with a periodically fixed interest rate (for five, seven or ten years). In the future, variable-rate credits will return to their offer, but they will be based on the new WIRON rates.

Source: DGP

The government has adopted amendments to bond legislation

Banks, brokerage houses, insurance and reinsurance companies will be able to issue capital instruments equipped with a loss absorption mechanism. This will allow them to raise additional capital, in line with EU regulations. The government has adopted draft legislation to this effect.


Questions to the CJEU could freeze Getin Noble Bank credit holders’ cases for years

Thousands of Getin Noble Bank credit holders’ cases are pending before the Provincial Administrative Court (WSA) in Warsaw. However, there will be no quick settlements with the WSA referring significant issues  to the CJEU. Lawyers fear that these cases will only be resolved after years of limbo for customers, with the WSA rejecting CHF credit holders’ appeals, and they point out that the WSA could have asked more questions, including whether borrowers with claims against a bank were treated in accordance with EU law.


Early mortgage repayments. The UOKiK investigates whether banks are charging customers correctly

 “The UOKiK’s investigations into banks’ practices during the early repayment of mortgages are still ongoing,” reported the UOKiK press office. According to the UOKiK, the practices of Santander Bank Polska showed the most far-reaching violations of law.

Source: Polskie Radio

Lending companies lose out on the Anti-Usury Act, pawnshops benefit

The Anti-Usury Act, effective from December, has hit lending companies hard. According to loan operators, the reduction in the maximum non-interest costs to the current level does not cover their risks or operating costs. And this has proved to be an opportunity for pawnshops, which have been able to navigate the legislative obstacles with ease.


First WIRON-based swap transaction

The Steering Committee of the National Working Group (SC NWG) for benchmark reform has announced that ING BŚ and PKO BP have concluded the first OIS transaction in the Polish market using WIRON, reported the KNF Office in a press release.

The transaction involved a financial instrument that was an Overnight Index Swap (OIS) interest rate derivative contract, and the transaction was entered into to test the operational and technological ability to use WIRON in financial instruments.

According to a report on the activities of the NWG for benchmark reform: “The transaction had a small nominal amount and was entered into for a short period of time. Interest rate derivative contracts, including OISs, can be used by banks to hedge the interest rate risk of their own items and those of their clients.”


Bankers on the smooth replacement of WIBOR with WIRON

“It is possible to replace WIBOR with WIRON at the client’s request by signing an amendment,” said Dr Tadeusz Białek, Vice-President of the Polish Bank Association, and Chairman of the Steering Committee of the National Working Group on Reference Rate Reform.

“Some banks comply with such requests from clients. Other have started offering their clients to sign the relevant amendment. However, no mass action is to be expected on the part of the banks, as this issue is to be dealt with by a regulation, in order for the operation to be carried out efficiently and, possibly, on a one-off basis after the ‘regulatory event’ has been identified,” he added.


Not only UOKiK: the KNF will also supervise lending companies

From the beginning of 2024, the Financial Supervision Authority (KNF) will have further new responsibilities. It will assume supervision of lending companies, who will be charged for this service – annually no more than 0.5 % of loan revenues and no less than EUR 5,000. Although the relevant solutions vary from country to country, lawyers believe that such dependencies should be avoided, with loan companies stating they would be unable to operate under such restrictions.

As you may know, on 9 November 2022, the President signed the Act on amending laws to counter usury, commonly referred to as the Anti-Usury Act. Some of the provisions entered into force in December with other regulations pending six months after signing. Those concerning supervision will take effect from 1 January 2024.


Banks want to interrupt the statute of limitations in CHF loan cases

According to CHF borrowers, at the end of 2022, banks have begun to bring actions for the return and compensation for the use of capital. Borrowers’ attorneys argue that this is intended to interrupt the statute of limitations on the claim for the return of capital, but may also act as a disincentive to suing banks.

Source: DGP

The Dziubak case – a judgment has been announced in the highest-profile CHF loan dispute

The Court of Appeal in Warsaw has handed down a final judgment in the best-known and most significant CHF loan case (Case No. VI ACa 385/20) concerning a dispute between Mr and Mrs Dziubak and Raiffeisen Bank. The Court dismissed the bank’s appeal and in addition, it held that the Regional Court in Warsaw had considered the case correctly and agreed that the agreement had to be declared invalid. The most important matter in dispute however concerned the question of whether Raiffeisen Bank was allowed, in the event of its loss, to withhold disbursement until clients returned the borrowed amount. The Court of Appeal (SA) ruled that the bank was allowed to withhold payment.

Source: Business Insider

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Banking today and tomorrow | An overview of the banking sector | January 2023


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