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Business in Poland

Law, tax and banking. Chapter 6

Chapter 6 Banking in Poland

    • 6.1.

      The Polish banking sector

      • 6.1.1.


The Polish banking environment like that of many other countries in Eastern Europe has changed dramatically over the last 15 years. Significant and suc- cessful reforms, including the privatisation of the greater part of the banking sec- tor(previously characterised by the state monopoly), together with creating the proper legal and infrastructural framework have produced a two-tier system

comprising the National Bank of Poland number of commercial banks.

Narodowy Bank Polski (NBP)

and a

At the end of 2004, a total of 650 domestic banks (54 commercial and 596 co- operative banks) and three branches of foreign credit institutions were operating in Poland. Further, there were 19 representative offices of foreign banks present in Poland. While consolidation has already greatly reduced the number of banks over the past couple of years, further rationalisation is still required. This particu- larly applies to the co-operative banking sector, in which, despite a fall of 50% (from 1,189 banks in 1999 to 596 in 2004), room for consolidation remains.

Consolidation of the commercial banking sector is, to a large extent, a conse- quence of the situation in the global banking market, as vast majority of Polish banks are controlled by foreign investors. In December 2004, investors from 17 countries were present in the banking market. Compared with the previous year, the capital involvement of investors from Belgium, the United Kingdom and Ja- pan increased, whereas that of German, French and US investors decreased.

Since Poland joined the European Union on May 1, 2004, the principle of the single banking passport has come into force. This means that a credit institu- tion from another member state can provide services in Poland with no need for a banking license from the Commission for Banking Supervision. From the date of accession to the end of February 2005, the Commission was notified by four credit institutions about the planned establishment of their branches in Poland. Further, 70 foreign financial institutions gave notice that they intended to provide cross-border services in the Republic of Poland.

6.1.2. The National Bank of Poland

Narodowy Bank Polski (the National Bank of Poland - NBP) has experienced an increase in its powers and autonomy, in accordance with EU membership re- quirements. This followed a 1997 modification of relevant legislation as stipu- lated in article 227 of the Constitution, The Banking Act and The Act on the Na- tional Bank of Poland .

Danske Bank / KPMG / Mazanti-Andersen, Korsø Jensen & Partnere January 2006


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