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Universal Bank in Poland? The KNF responds

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The Polish Financial Supervision Authority has not issued a permit to Universal Bank to establish a branch of a foreign bank in the territory of the Republic of Poland, the Polish Financial Supervision Authority announced on Friday.

The KNF drew attention to the emerging media information that may mislead customers. They concern – as it was written in the information – “entering the Polish banking market” of an entity using the “Monobank” brand and supposed to use the “Stereo” brand on the Polish market. Meanwhile – as explained by the KNF – it is a bank with its registered office in Ukraine operating under the name Universal Bank.

KNF about reports on Universal Bank

It was noted that in the light of the provisions of the Polish banking law, Universal Bank is a foreign bank, i.e. a bank with its registered office outside the territory of the European Economic Area, and the establishment of a branch of a foreign bank in Poland requires obtaining a permit from the Polish Financial Supervision Authority, which is issued after meeting the banking conditions. It was added that foreign banks may also establish domestic banks in the territory of the Republic of Poland in the form of a subsidiary joint-stock company, however, also after obtaining the relevant KNF.

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“So far, the Polish Financial Supervision Authority has not issued the above-mentioned permits for Universal Bank, has not received applications for such permits, and is not conducting proceedings to grant them,” the KNF Office said in a communiqué.

It was emphasized that when examining whether the requirements set out in the law have been met, the KNF performs a comprehensive assessment of the founder, including in relation to his business plans and suitability in terms of reputation and ability to ensure prudent and stable management of banking activities on the Polish market. It was also noted that all issues regarding the possible launching of banking services on the Polish market by entities from outside the Republic of Poland are always subject to consultation with the banking supervision authority from the country of origin of such entity.

Explanations of the office

The Office added that the above-mentioned media information may suggest that “the planned activity will use the BAAS (Banking as a Service) model used in market practice, especially by the so-called Internet banks, consisting in the provision of services in one’s own name and on one’s own account by a bank with an appropriate banking license and the right to operate in a given jurisdiction, but using marketing designations, brands or service marks belonging to another entity.

It was noted that the KNF expects entities providing such services to comply with the highest standards in the selection of contractors as well as the quality and correctness of the services provided, and the advertising and marketing messages used and other forms of communication with financial market participants, in particular with customers, will ensure proper identification of the entity actually providing the services and will not be misleading.

Main photo source: Shutterstock

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