From now on, our clients will have a specific solution that will allow them to quickly and definitively solve the problem of foreign currency loans – said the president of PKO Bank Polski, Jan Emeryk Rościszewski in an interview with “Dziennik Gazeta Prawna”. On Monday, the largest bank in Poland is launching a program of settlements with franchisees.
In an interview published on Monday in DGP, Rościszewski was asked about settlements with franchisees. – The settlement program starts today in full scale. We have prepared a solution that will allow our clients to efficiently and without additional costs free themselves from the currency risk, and at the same time will reverse the effects of the increase in the Swiss franc exchange rate – explained the president of PKO BP.
PKO BP starts with settlements – CEO’s statement
– It is a costly solution for the bank, but very much needed by everyone. We have created a provision of PLN 6.7 billion, which secures financial resources for settlements, and we are ready to enter into agreements with our clients. We have about 100,000 Swiss franc contracts, which – let me remind you – are legally binding. They were concluded in accordance with applicable regulations. As the economic situation of these borrowers has changed in recent years as a result of the strong appreciation of the Swiss franc, we decided to help this group of clients by agreeing to convert the loan currency, he said.
Rościszewski emphasized that PKO BP put a lot of effort into working out the most simple and convenient path of concluding a settlement. – This procedure will be free of charge for the client. I predict that within a few weeks or months – depending on the individual case – the borrower will be able to convert the Swiss franc agreement into PLN. The settlement process will be almost fully remote – said the president of the largest bank in Poland.
After he explained what the procedure should look like: – It will be initiated by the client’s application, which can be submitted, for example, on our website. After signing the mediation agreement, the case will go to the arbitration court at the Polish Financial Supervision Authority, which will set an online meeting with the mediator. The client will receive from us a currency conversion proposal and all documents necessary for mediation. Finally, we will make a settlement. The signed agreements are the only moment in the entire process when the client will have to appear in person at the bank branch.
PKO BP and settlements with franchisees – on what terms?
According to the president of PKO BP, the proposal will enjoy great interest. – This is a solution that will free customers from the current financial burdens related to the strengthening of the franc – he pointed out
As he added, customers concluding settlements will eventually become holders of loans denominated in PLN, with the margin that was in force on the market for PLN loans at the time of contracting. He also noted that the conversion will take place at the rate at the time of loan disbursement.
– As part of the settlement, we will offer a conversion into a loan with a fixed or variable interest rate – we give customers a choice. I encourage you to keep a steady rate. Such a loan is free from the risk of an increase in interest rates, and therefore it is safer. However, it is more expensive and the creditworthiness in its case is lower. So not everyone will want or be able to choose this option – added Rościszewski.
He also indicated that he encourages all PKO BP clients to conclude a settlement. – At the end of the first half of this year, we had about 9,000 court proceedings. Their participants use legal intermediaries who, by earning money on this process, will discourage our clients from reaching an amicable settlement of the dispute. For this reason, the interest in settlements in this group will probably be lower than in the case of other clients – he stressed.
Frankivskyi and settlements
We have already informed about the fact that PKO Bank Polski is preparing an offer for franchise holders. Originally it was supposed to be presented before the summer holidays, the end of September was indicated as the next date.
As for other banks, the president of Santander Bank Polska, Michał Gajewski, recently announced that the bank is running tests of concluding settlements with Swiss franc borrowers.
In turn, Bank Millennium concluded over 4,000 settlements with franchise holders. The bank has not launched a program of agreements with borrowers on the terms proposed by the Polish Financial Supervision Authority, but instead tries to come to an agreement with them on its own terms, Rzeczpospolita wrote on Tuesday.
The president Brunon Bartkiewicz informed in mid-April that ING Bank Śląski is ready to settle with franchise holders. 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.
BNP Paribas previously indicated that it will make a decision on the settlement after the resolution of the Supreme Court. The full body of the Civil Chamber of the Supreme Court at the beginning of September this year. however, it did not issue a resolution on foreign currency loansinstead, it was decided to ask three questions to the Court of Justice of the European Union on the procedure for appointing judges.
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.
Financial Ombudsman Mariusz Golecki recently indicated in an interview with the Polish Press Agency that banks submitted settlement proposals require careful examination in terms of whether they are not unfavorable to customers. At least a lawyer should see them, ‘he said.
PAP, Dziennik Gazeta Prawna
Main photo source: PKO BP