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Business in Poland

Law, tax and banking. Chapter 6

6.4.2. ELIXIR- Low-Value

ELIXIR, the Polish low-value clearing system, is owned and operated by the Na- tional Clearing House, KIR (Krajowa Izba Rozliczeniowa SA). KIR itself is owned by Poland s leading banks, the Polish Bankers Association (ZBP) and the National Bank of Poland (NBP). Besides the KIR head office in Warsaw, there are 17 re- gional clearing houses (BRIRs) located in Poland s major cities. Each and every bank branch of a clearing participant is connected to one of these regional BRIRs.

In 2000, KIR commenced the development of the IMBIR optional scanning sys- tem, which replaced the SYBIR system in 2004. The IMBIR system allows the processing of cheques on a fully automated basis thus it has eliminated all pa- per-based documents from the clearing process, since IMBIR converts all paper- based items into electronic messages. Consequently, introduction of the IMBIR system has led to a considerable shortening of the clearing cycle for cheques and other paper-based items.

Participants & Access Criteria All banks in Poland must participate directly or indirectly in KIR and each KIR participant must in turn participate in ELIXIR. In July 2005, there were 54 banks participating directly in the system. Banks without direct access (e.g. co- operative banks) are able to participate indirectly via any direct participant. All banks participating in the Elixir system must have settlements accounts with the NBP, place a collateral agreement with the NBP, obtain approval of the KIR s su- pervisory board, meet the necessary technical and economical criteria, as well as participate in the SORBNET system.

Transactions Types Processed ELIXIR is a net settlement system used to carry out low-value credit transfers under the PLN1 million threshold in addition to direct debits and, since January 2001, cheques below PLN1,000 drawn on savings accounts. The cheques are firstly converted by the receiving bank into electronic payment messages using the new IMBIR system. Additionally ELIXR always processes tax payments and social insurance pay- ments regardless of the amount The daily average number of ELIXIR transactions reaches 7.559 while the daily value increased to PLN 12,600 million.

In July of 2004 the validation of NRB standard was implemented. If the sending bank does not stop a payment containing invalid NRB, it can still be processed through Elixir, but only until February 1st, 2006, after which date all the pay- ments containing beneficiary account number in format other than NRB will be returned by the clearing house to the sending bank.

Operating Hours/Clearing System Holidays ELIXIR operates 24 hours a day except for weekends and all official National Bank of Poland holidays.

Clearing Cycle Details ELIXIR clears transactions on a same-day basis and, for credit transfers, there are three daily clearing cycles (18:30 09:30, 10:00 13:30 and 14:30 18:00CET) in addition to three settlement sessions per day: a morning session (10:30 11:00), an afternoon session (14:30 15:00) and an evening session (17:00 17:30).

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


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