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Zbigniew Jagiełło, former president of PKO BP, was charged. Federation of Polish Entrepreneurs, Confederation Lewiatan, Employers of the Republic of Poland and the Polish Bank Association on the activities of the Regional Prosecutor’s Office in Lublin – joint statement

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Zbigniew Jagiełło, former president of PKO Bank Polski, was charged with eight charges regarding abuse of severance pay and payment of cash equivalents for unused leave. This information was received with concern by the Federation of Polish Entrepreneurs, the Lewiatan Confederation, Employers of Poland and the Polish Bank Association. “The allegations raise particular concern and raise questions about the real intentions of the Regional Prosecutor’s Office in Lublin,” the organizations wrote in a joint statement. Entrepreneurs and bankers pointed out that “the current market position of PKO Bank Polski today and in recent years is undoubtedly due to Zbigniew Jagiełło.”

The Regional Prosecutor’s Office in Lublin brought eight charges against Zbigniew Jagielle. The former president of PKO BP did not plead guilty to the charges against him and refused to provide explanations. The prosecutor granted him a property guarantee of half a million zlotys and secured property in the amount of PLN 4.9 million by establishing compulsory mortgages on three properties.

This matter was addressed on Monday in a joint statement by the Federation of Polish Entrepreneurs, the Lewiatan Confederation, Employers of Poland and the Polish Bank Association. The letter was signed by: Marek Kowalski (Chairman of FPP), Maciej Witucki (President of Konfederacja Lewiatan), Rafał Dutkiewicz (President of the Management Board of Employer PR) and Tadeusz Białek (President of ZBP).

Entrepreneurs and bankers about the allegations against Zbigniew Jagielle

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Seven of the charges brought against Zbigniew Jagielle concern abuse of trust when concluding employment contracts with seven bank employees. According to the prosecutor’s office, the suspect granted “severance pay and other monetary benefits that had no economic or legal justification,” which caused material damage to the company of PLN 3.2 million.

“The allegations formulated in this way raise particular concern and raise questions about the actual intentions of the Prosecutor’s Office. It is undoubtedly obvious that granting benefits to employees, including severance pay, falls within the competence of the president and does not require ‘legal justification’. This is a fundamental principle of freedom of contract and employee privileges.” Therefore, accusing a person representing the employer of committing a crime due to the lack of legal justification for a specific payment is a particularly dangerous and unacceptable practice,” we read in the statement of the Federation of Polish Entrepreneurs, the Lewiatan Confederation, Employers of the Republic of Poland and the Polish Bank Association.

The organizations noted that “the payment of benefits to employees that is higher than the minimum required by law is a normal and very often expected practice by employees and trade unions within the framework of employment relations.”

The eighth charge concerns the payment of cash equivalents for unused holiday leave for the total amount of PLN 1.6 million, of which PLN 756,000. PLN to Zbigniew Jagiełło himself. According to the organization, this allegation raises “even greater concern.” “Nationally, tens of thousands of employees annually receive compensation for unused leave. This cannot be the basis for accusing managers of committing crimes,” the statement emphasized.

“It should be emphasized that the termination of employment contracts in order to conclude management contracts required by law, as referred to in the announcement of the Prosecutor’s Office (Regional) in Lublin, concerns changes in the basis of employment of members of the Bank’s management board in connection with the entry into force of the Act on the principles of shaping the remuneration of persons managing certain companies. “In these cases, the termination of employment contracts and their replacement with management contracts was forced by changes in regulations, and the procedure and deadline for introducing these changes depended on the decisions of the General Meetings and Supervisory Boards,” it added.

The organizations explained that “it is not the President who terminates employment contracts with other management board members, but the Supervisory Board, which employs and dismisses the Management Board.” “In such a case, accusing the President of the need to pay the management board members an allowance for leave is an obvious mistake. It is also difficult to believe that the Prosecutor’s Office accused Mr. Zbigniew Jagiełło of committing a crime by failing to ensure that he used his own leave,” it was emphasized.

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“The current position on the banking market is undoubtedly thanks to Zbigniew Jagiełło”

Entrepreneurs and bankers do not see any abuse of powers or failure to fulfill obligations in the actions accused of Zbigniew Jagielle.

In their opinion, “it is equally difficult to accept the accusation that Zbigniew Jagiełło caused damage to the assets of PKO BP SA.” “This is an especially bizarre accusation in a situation where during Zbigniew Jagiełło’s management of the bank, the institution achieved undeniable success. Its current position on the banking market is undoubtedly due to President Zbigniew Jagiełło and the people he convinced and employed to work for the Bank. Also those whose employment contracts are today assessed by the Prosecutor’s Office as allegedly uneconomic,” it was noted.

According to the Federation of Polish Entrepreneurs, the Lewiatan Confederation, Employers of the Republic of Poland and the Polish Bank Association, it is no coincidence that Zbigniew Jagiełło “when finishing his mission at the PKO BP SA Bank, was met with a farewell unprecedented on the Polish market by the bank’s employees, and the stock price of PKO BP SA dropped on the day of his resignation. by 7.18 percent, which was an amount of over PLN 3.3 billion (such a situation has never happened in the history of the bank).

Information about the politicization of the prosecutor’s office

Entrepreneurs and bankers emphasized in a joint statement that they wanted to stay away from politics.

“We want to build the security of economic transactions so that managers with an impeccable reputation acting in accordance with the spirit and letter of the law can make bold decisions. That is why it is so difficult for us to accept the allegations against Zbigniew Jagielle, especially when there are so many claims in the public space about the special politicization of the Prosecutor’s Office Regional in Lublin and the persons managing its work at the time when the investigation into this matter was conducted and the decision to present charges was issued,” it was summarized.

Zbigniew Jagiełło wrote in a statement published on LinkedIn that he was “not surprised by the actions of the regional prosecutor’s office in Lublin.” “For several years, various ‘PiS services’ have been looking for hooks against me in accordance with the Stalinist principle ‘give me a man’ and a paragraph will be found,” we read.

Zbigniew Jagiełło managed PKO BP from October 2009 and was appointed for subsequent terms in 2011, 2014, 2017 and 2020. In May 2021, he resigned without giving a reason.

Zbigniew Jagiełło agreed to provide his surname.

Main photo source: PAP/Mateusz Marek



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