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Polish banks have to pay for losses on Swiss Franc mortgages

Though the exchange rate of the Swiss franc was floated by the Swiss National Bank in January 2015, yet in Poland the problem that arose in connection with it regarding housing loans taken out in Swiss francs is far from being solved. The deadline for the final decision in this respect has again been extended, which further heightens the tension both on the part of some half a million of the borrowers and on the part of the lending banks. The chances are that the banks may sustain a cost of up to 50 bn PLN or approximately 12 bn euros, which is equivalent to three times as much as the whole profit made by the banks for the year 2014.

On 15 of January 2015  the Swiss floated the exchange rate of the Franc: prior to this day the exchange rate was PLN 3,57 to CHF 1, thereafter it rose to PLN 4,33 to CHF 1. During the following months the rate settled at PLN 3,92 to CHF 1. What does that mean for 560 thousand families that pay the Swiss franc loans back? Taking into consideration that the average exchange rate when the loans were taken out stood at PLN 2,4 to CHF 1, it means for an average debtor a loss of PLN 1,5 for each Swiss franc borrowed1.

The financial burden for many families is onerous. One out of ten may have difficulties paying the debt back, which in turn means the banks will have a hard time regaining PLN 14 bn2 or 3,3 bn euros. This value is close to the whole profit of the banks in the year 2014 that amounted to PLN 16,23 bn or 3,8 bn euros. Independently of whether the banks will accept the proposals set forward by the legislators or not, their finances are threatened. To make things even more complicated, new taxes on bank assets and financial transactions are being proposed.

The solutions offered by politicians and their slow responsiveness do not help either. The banks remind the politicians that it was they themselves who in the years 2006-2007 insisted that banks make Swiss franc credits more available3. The law passed by the previous Polish parliament that put 90% of the burden of the currency conversion on the banks did not come into force. It was a threat to the banks but a rescue for 15% of the parliamentary representatives who had taken housing loans in Swiss francs4. The latest proposals made by President Andrzej Duda writes-off 70% of the difference between the rate at which the loan was granted and the current exchange rate, seem to be acceptable to both parties of the dispute, though the said solution has not been agreed upon yet. We have yet to wait for the final decisions, although the deadline for the proposed legislature to be submitted to the parliament was set for the beginning of November.

The solution currently under discussion means a cost that the banks will have to sustain ranging from 385 up to PLN 50 bn1, depending on the assessment. This is three times as much as the net profit of the banks for the year 2014 or, to put it otherwise, one third of their own funds1. The costs of the reform may be prolonged over time, as was the case with the profits that the banks gained from the Swiss franc credits. The banks entertain the hope that the incoming Minister of Development, a former governor of one of the more important banks, will not allow for too painful decisions.

References

1. Prezydencka pomoc dla frankowiczów. Mogą zyskać nawet kilkanaście tysięcy złotych Source: Dziennik Gazeta Prawna 12-11-2015
Ponad 8 mld zł rekompensaty za spready i 40 mld zł z tytułu umorzenia kredytów – to kwota odpowiadająca jednej trzeciej kapitałów sektora.

2. Nowy projekt w sprawie kredytów. Czy poprze go PiS i prezydent Duda? Source: Money.pl 03-11-2015
Jak dowiedział się money.pl, do Kancelarii Prezydenta trafił nowy projekt tak zwanej “ustawy pomocowej”. Jego autorem jest twórca polskiej ustawy o VAT, prof. Witold Modzelewski.

3. Kredyty we frankach szwajcarskich: jaka jest prawda? ZBP opublikował “Białą księgę” Source: Polskie Radio 20-05-2015
Biała księga kredytów frankowych w Polsce” – tak nazywa się liczący ponad sto stron raport, który Związek Banków Polskich udostępnił mediom.

4. Posłowie „frankowicze” – ci parlamentarzyści mają kredyt we franku Source: Onet.pl 20-01-2015
Z analizy oświadczeń majątkowych wynika, że 15 proc. naszych parlamentarzystów spłaca kredyt we frankach szwajcarskich. Przeciętny zadłużony we franku poseł ma do spłacenia 86,6 tys. franków.

5. 3 ścieżki dla frankowców – analityk podliczył koszty dla banków Source: PulsInwestora.pl 09-11-2015
Rozwiązanie, z którego korzystać będzie zapewne większość frankowców, oznacza 38 mld zł brutto kosztów dla sektora bankowego, szacuje Maciej Marcinowski, analityk Trigon Domu Maklerskiego.

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