On Thursday, there will be a meeting of the Civil Chamber of the Supreme Court on legal issues relating to the so-called foreign currency loans. The hearing is set to start at 10.00 am The Frankists remain skeptical. According to Arkadiusz Szcześniak, president of the Stop Banking Law Association, the ruling of the Supreme Court, even if it is issued, will not change much.
On Thursday, September 2, the date of continuation of the session of the entire Civil Chamber of the Supreme Court was set regarding the discrepancies that emerged from the jurisprudence regarding foreign currency loans, in particular the so-called Swiss franc loans. At the end of January this year, the first president of the Supreme Court, Judge Małgorzata Manowska, filed a motion to resolve six legal issues.
The Thursday meeting is to be held in camera.
Frankivichi – the Supreme Court
The first three questions dealt with by the Supreme Court concern the resolution of doubts as to the situation in which significant provisions of the loan agreement will be considered illegal provisions, the so-called abusive clauses.
The next three questions relate to a situation where the contract would be declared invalid or ineffective.
This is the fourth approach to the matter. Originally, the Supreme Court Civil Chamber was supposed to deal with the questions of the first by the Supreme Court President on March 25, but the date of the meeting was postponed twice. First on April 13, then May 11.
The meeting, scheduled for May 11, started at around 1.00 p.m. However, just before 7.00 p.m., the spokesman of the Supreme Court, Aleksander Stępkowski, announced that the court’s decision had been postponed. The Chamber asked various institutions for a position on this matter “with the awareness of the social and economic importance that its decisions will have for Poles.”
Expectations of franchisees as to the decision of the Supreme Court
– We have been waiting too long for a decision of the Supreme Court in this case, and in my opinion, even if a judgment is finally issued, it will not change much in the situation of borrowers – assessed Arkadiusz Szcześniak, president of the Stop Banking Lawless Association. – Almost all issues have already been clarified by judges in smaller panels, and the most important question for us – regarding the remuneration for using capital – has already been referred by the Warsaw court to the Court of Justice of the European Union – he added.
In mid-August, the Warsaw-Śródmieście District Court asked the CJEU whether the parties to the contract were entitled to remuneration for using the capital in the event of the cancellation of the loan agreement. The Warsaw court examines a lawsuit concerning the bank’s remuneration for using the client’s capital.
– In consumer matters in Poland, no one doubts that the EU regulations have priority. This is both the position of the Ministry of Justice and other bodies that are actively involved on the part of consumers, for example the Ombudsman or the Financial Ombudsman. Therefore, we do not expect this issue to be resolved by the Supreme Court on Thursday – assessed Szcześniak.
As he noted, Thursday’s session of the civil chamber is to be closed, which makes it possible to doubt whether any issue will be decided at all. – Maybe a decision to postpone the meeting will be issued again or an answer will be given to 2-3 questions for which the answer is already known. We also do not rule out that the Chamber will say that it will not answer the questions. Our expectations are very low – said Arkadiusz Szcześniak.
Frankivichi – banks
The rulings of the Supreme Court may be of key importance both for the pending court proceedings regarding foreign currency loans and the process of concluding settlements between banks and borrowers in this case. He recommended the franchisees to refrain from concluding settlements until the Supreme Court issued a ruling, among others Financial Ombudsman.
BNP Paribas previously indicated that it will make a decision on the settlement after the resolution of the Supreme Court. Bank Millennium is also waiting for the Supreme Court. – We plan to make a decision after the Supreme Court hearing. (…) We are waiting for the court’s decision to include it in the information to the supervisory board – said Joao Bras Jorge, president of Bank Millennium earlier.
mBank has so far not made a decision to offer agreements to clients as proposed by the Chairman of the Polish Financial Supervision Authority, and has not taken any steps to obtain any corporate approvals in this matter. It is not known how Raiffeisen will behave in this case.
In turn, PKO Bank Polski wants to propose on a large scale at the end of September the process of concluding settlements with franchisees. Jan Emeryk Rościszewski, acting president of PKO BP, pointed out that customers will probably be able to convert a Swiss franc loan into a loan with a fixed interest rate as the basic option. The president of Santander Bank Polska, Michał Gajewski, recently informed that the bank is running tests of concluding settlements with Swiss franc borrowers.
The president Brunon Bartkiewicz informed in mid-April that ING Bank Śląski is ready to settle with franchise holders. Also in this case, these would be settlements based on a proposal presented by the chairman of the Polish Financial Supervision Authority. Bank Pekao also announced that it plans to settle deals, but is still working on the details of the conversion mechanism.
Main photo source: Shutterstock