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General information

Polish Bank Association (ZBP)

Self-government organization of banks, established in 1991, founded on the  Chambers of Commerce Charter. Membership in the ZBP is voluntary and open for all  banks created under the Polish law as well as for foreign credit institutions branches  operating  in the Republic of Poland.

Press release of the Polish Bank Association to the CJEU judgment in case C-520/21

In today's judgment, the Court has found that Directive 93/13 does not directly regulate the consequences of the invalidity of a contract concluded between an entrepreneur and a consumer once the unfair terms have been removed.

It is for the Member States and the national law to determine the consequences of such a statement. However, the rules adopted in that regard must comply with EU law and, in particular, with the objectives of the Directive.
The Court has specified that this compliance depends on whether national rules, firstly, allow to restore the legal and factual position of the consumer, in which they would be in the absence of the invalidated contract and secondly, do not put into jeopardy the realisation of dissuasive effect set out in the Directive.

As regards consumer claims, the CJEU has referred to the national law. It has emphasized that it is for the referring national court to assess, in the light of all the circumstances of the dispute, whether the allowance of consumer claims complies with the principle of proportionality, which is a general principle of the EU law.

In the opinion of the Polish Bank Association, the consumer does not provide any service for the bank. When repaying the installments, the borrower merely returns to the bank funds previously granted by the bank. Therefore, the consumer may not claim from the bank any damages that go beyond the reimbursement of installments.

With regard to banks' claims, the Court has pointed out that the Directive precludes banks from being entitled to demand from the consumer for any compensation beyond the return of the principal paid out and the payment of statutory interest for late payment, if such would lead to "obtaining compensation for loss of profit which they intended to obtain from that contract”. Indicating the need to return the principal, the Court has not specified whether it means its actual or nominal value, which is a particularly important question in the light of high inflation.

In the opinion of the Polish Bank Association, the judgment contains inconsistencies. On one hand, the Court repeatedly underlines that efforts should be made to restore the legal and factual situation in which the consumer would be in the absence of the unfair term. On the other, it accepts a situation in which the consumer would obtain free of charge funds, for which the property has been purchased.

We will prepare a detailed analysis of the given CJEU judgment shortly. We conclude that it does not share (wrongly, in our opinion) the position of the banking sector in Poland.

Prepared by: Legal and Legislative Department of the Polish Bank Association
Warsaw, 15th June 2023

Polish Bank Association appoints the new president

The new Management Board and the Council of the Polish Bank Association has been today appointed by the General Assembly of the Association. has appointed a new Management Board and Council of the Association. Dr. Tadeusz Białek - former Vice President, - was appointed the President of the Association. In addition, Agnieszka Wachnicka, Włodzimierz Kicinski and Bartosz Kublik were appointed to the Board, for a three-year term.

The General Assembly also appointed members of the Council of the Association for the new term. new Association Council.

The former President of the Association, Krzysztof Pietraszkiewicz, who has led the organization as President since 2003 (and as Director General beforehand), has concluded his more than 30-year mission at the PBA. In the banking sector, he co-founded such institutions as the Krajowa Izba Rozliczeniowa S.A. (the clearing house), Biuro Informacji Kredytowej S.A. (credit worthiness office) and Biuro Informacji Gospodarczej InfoMonitor S.A., among others. He co-initiated the establishment of the Cashless Poland Foundation (2017), as well as a number of other initiatives for the benefit of the banking sector and its clients. Involved in numerous projects of cooperation between the banking sector and the scientific community.

Tadeusz Białek, in thanking the outgoing President, stressed that he takes over the leadership of the Association at an extremely difficult time. He also underlined that the Association has been one of the most important stakeholders on the financial and banking market over the last 30 years also thanks to Mr Pietraszkiewicz’s effort.

The newly elected President of the PBA when addressing the General Assembly pointed out that the current conditions of bank operations in Poland involve numerous challenges facing the banking sector. Among the most important challenges, he said, are the process of reforming the benchmark index (introducing a new WIRON index to replace WIBOR), resolving the problem of foreign currency loans, the current difficulties in financing the housing market as a result of inflation and high interest rates, the disproportionately high burden on the banking sector and the introduction of numerous regulations undermining the banking sector's ability to finance the economy (such as statutory credit moratorium (so-called “credit holidays”)).

The new Management Board of the Polish Bank Association shall from today constitute of 4 members.

Management Board of PBA

Tadeusz Białek President

Doctor of legal sciences, legal counsel, graduate of law at the University of Warsaw and Doctoral Studies at the Institute of Legal Studies of the Polish Academy of Sciences

He is associated with the banking sector since 2003. From 2010 to 2020 he served as Director of the Legal and Legislative Team of the Polish Bank Association. Vice President of the Polish Bank Association since 2020. Chairman of the Steering Committee of the National Working Group on Reference Indicator Reform. Chairman of the Committee on Cyber Security of Banks. He has held numerous positions representing the banking sector at the national and European level, also within the European Banking Federation. He has participated in legislative work on numerous pieces of legislation in financial market regulations. Arbitrator of the Court of Arbitration at the Financial Supervisory Council.

Agnieszka Wachnicka Vice President

She graduated from the Warsaw School of Economics with a degree in Finance and Banking and Postgraduate Studies in Real Estate Valuation.

From 2015 to 2018, she was with the Office of the Financial Ombudsman, where she headed the Banking and Capital Market Client Division. Earlier for 12 years she worked at the Ministry of Finance, leading legal works on financial markets regulations, especially in banking sector. In 2013-2015, she served on the Supervisory Board of Bank Gospodarstwa Krajowego (Polish development bank). From 2018 to 2023, she has been the President of the Board of Directors of the Foundation for Financial Market Development.

Włodzimierz Kiciński Vice President

He has been involved in the banking sector since 1995.

He began his career as director of the foreign department at the National Bank of Poland and participated in Poland's negotiations with the London Club and the Paris Club on debt relief. From 2002 to 2011, he served as the President of the Management Board of Nordea Bank Polska. During this time, he also served on the governing bodies of the Polish Bank Association. In 2012, he assumed the position of Vice President of Finance at KGHM Polska Miedź. Since 2017 he’s been serving as Vice President of Polish Bank Association.

Bartosz Kublik Vice President

He has been involved in banking sector since 2003.

Since 2009 he has been a Vice President of the Management Board of the Cooperative Bank in Ostrów Mazowiecka, and then the President of the Board. As of 2014 – Member of the Council of the Polish Bank Association (and also the President of the Council) and the Chairman of the Cooperative Banks Section within the Polish Bank Association. He actively participated in the creation of the national groups of cooperative banks. He’s an author of numerous publications on economy and banking system.

Banking Sector's Appeal


In view of the challenges faced by Poles and the Polish economy, bearing in mind the highly negative effects of the so-called mortgage credits “repayment holiday” legislation, the banking sector appeals to representatives of all political groups, representing all levels of state power, not to take measures that undermine the banking sector’s ability to support Polish businesses and their customers, as well as local government units.

Despite the Senate committee’s request for a solution that is not unfair and pro-inflationary, the law has not been amended in this regard and still raises concerns and involves risks to financial stability.

Therefore, we appeal to the government to seek solutions that:
–    will limit the assistance to only those in financial distress – because, according to the Prime Minister’s public announcement, the repayment holiday was to be limited to borrowers having difficulty in pinning down their household budgets, and were passed by the Parliament as a universal solution, available to all borrowers;
–    will stop social injustice – because, according to the current form of the law, the assistance solutions could benefit people who do not need support at all in repaying their mortgages, and the cost of financing this assistance would be shifted entirely to depositors and other bank’s customers;
–    will allow to combat inflation – because the solutions being processed in the Parliament contradict the National Bank of Poland’s anti-inflationary policy aimed at, among other things, limiting the amount of money in the economy;
–    will not undermine the stability and credibility of the Polish banking system – because the repayment holiday legislation in its current form will mean an unprecedented burden on the banking sector, estimated by the National Bank of Poland at up to PLN 20 billion, which will push some banks into very bad shape and make it impossible for the sector to continue financing the Polish economy.

The appeal is deeply justified by the social sentiments. According to public opinion polls, as many as 66% of Poles support the introduction of an income criterion in the Repayment Holiday Law in order to provide assistance only to people in distress. In contrast, 57% of respondents are concerned that repayment holiday will increase inflation 1.

Existing forms of support for borrowers
The banking sector has had a package of solutions that effectively support borrowers in financial distress. The primary instrument of assistance is the Borrower Support Fund, aimed at borrowers with actual difficulties in repaying their mortgages. The banking sector invariably declares further readiness to improve this instrument, while at the same time hoping that the government will stop solutions that are socially unjust and detrimental to the banking sector, as well as the entire Polish economy.

It is also possible to use other solutions provided, among others, in the Banking Law and concerning, for example, changes in the terms or dates of loan repayment specified in the agreement. This is an instrument available to borrowers whose assessment of the financial or economic standing actually indicates the need for repayment relief.

The full statement can be found here


Polish Banks’ actions towards refugees from Ukraine


Since the beginning of the Russian aggression against Ukraine, the banks operating in Poland have been trying to make it easier for the newcomers from Ukraine to function in their new reality. Lots of banks quickly responded to the needs of refugees directly and also prepared Ukrainian language version of their websites and document templates while simplifying procedures for setting up accounts and resigning from fees for their maintenance, issuance and running a payment card, ATM withdrawals or transfers to Ukraine. These actions will be continually adjusted.

Due to the Russian aggression against Ukraine, 2.34 million refugees have been sent to Poland since February 24. The wave war-induced migration is considered to be the fastest growing humanitarian crisis in Europe since the end of World War II, nonetheless help for Ukrainian citizens seeking shelters in Poland flows from almost every side.

After the conflict broke out, the banks operating in Poland joined the stream of aid aimed at refugees almost immediately. The actions of banks are both direct and material - through the organization of fundraising and coordination of aid actions - as well as operational - facilitating the use of payment infrastructure and quick adaptation the scope of its services to the needs of people coming to Poland. In this regard it is essential providing refugees with access to basic payment services and improving distribution financial support intended for them, so that they can start their normal functioning in new realities.

In the first days from the beginning of the conflict, Bank Gospodarstwa Krajowego (BGK) on the initiative of Polish Payments Standard - the operator of the BLIK system - launched a special account on behalf of the National Bank of Ukraine intended for the payment of funds to help Ukraine. Most of the banks that work with charity foundations created similar initiatives aimed at coordinating aid actions. Fundraising organized by our financial institutions has already collected tens of millions of zlotys in direct aid. Volunteers from the Polish banking sector are also directly involved in help for refugees.
Moreover, in the area of settlements of transactions carried out in Poland cards issued by banks from Ukraine, some Polish acquirers resigned from dynamic currency conversion at ATMs and POS terminals so that Ukrainian customers do not incur higher currency conversion costs at the time of purchase.

Thanks to the agreement between the National Bank of Poland and the NBU, Ukrainian citizens residing in Poland  can exchange hryvnia to Polish zloty at the official rounded rate, effective since 25th of march. The PKO BP is involved in this process and has created separate desks in its branches enabling this service. As part of the PKO BP and NBP program, 13 thousand Ukrainians exchanged the hryvnia into zlotys within first 3 days. The exchange rate set for this operation by the NBU is 0.14 zlotys per hryvnia. None of the participants of the operation charges any exchange fees. Adult citizens of Ukraine can exchange up to 10,000 hryvnia per person. The NBP will sell the purchased hryvnia to The National Bank of Ukraine at the same rate. The NBU will buy from the NBP up to 10 billion hryvnia in cash.

In the area of services, the banks in Poland are constantly working to adjust their operations to the needs of refugees, trying to facilitate adaptation in this difficult period. Many banks introduced Ukrainian language versions of their websites and launched helpdesks in Ukrainian language while also translating product information. In most cases, they were introduced facilitating the opening of accounts. Banks resigned from fees for servicing accounts, as well as from fees for issue and maintenance of cards or for withdrawals from ATMs. There are no commissions charged on foreign transfers bound for Ukraine.

Banks also act as an intermediary in the distribution of funds intended for refugees, including encouraging the use of electronic banking services, mobile applications and – after obtaining a PESEL number beforehand - enabling the creation of a trusted profile, which gives an access to aid funds, both from domestic sources, i.e. 500+, EU and those transferred by other countries, such as the USA or Canada.

In the area of services, there are also activities aimed at standardizing the package intended for customers from Ukraine forced to flee the war as well as more extensive educational and information activities, in particular in the field of cybersecurity rules.

However, the verification of the identity of refugees remains a key challenge. Provisions for counteracting money laundering and terrorist financing are very strict, a the present situation does not exempt financial institutions from complying with them, as it is about protecting them only the clients themselves, but also the financial security of the country. In the case of people with an identity document, i.e. a passport or internal Ukrainian identity card, opening an account shouldn’t be a problem. It is much more of a challenge while the service by banks of people who arrived without documents or their identity cards are present badly damaged. The Polish Bank Association is in contact with the relevant national institutions on this specific matter, but also with the Ukrainian authorities to properly identify these people.

The situation of people who had to return to Ukraine from Poland, even in connection with a summons to military service. In many of the tens of thousands of such cases, these people they had a bank account in a Polish financial institution, a loan or a deposit to which they did not they gave authorization to even the immediate family. Banking sector in agreement with the supervisory authorities will do everything to keep the problems of the families of Ukrainian bank account owners resolved as soon as possible.

Selected actions of banks in the face of the migration crisis and the war in Ukraine:

Selected activities for bank employees:

  • Persons previously employed in Ukraine in a subsidiary bank are employed by the head office abroad. Employment in Poland is associated with challenges in the field of tax matters, ZUS, etc. These people often work in Poland, but their wages and other benefits are paid by headquarters.
  • For these people, accommodation was found, free accounts were set up, and a cash package was paid out. These people were covered by medical care. The families of bank employees were pulled from behind border and received the same financial and medical aid.
  • The right to additional paid days off for employees from Ukraine was created.
  • The phone limits for domestic and Ukrainian calls have also been increased to 500 minutes.
  • Psychological help is provided for employees and their families (how to talk to children about war) - webinars and helplines.
  • Legal aid was provided.
  • Assistance in organizing and financing Polish language learning
  • Support is also given to contractors and contractors of banks.
  • Managers were supported so that they could assist in the best possible way employees.
  • An intranet dedicated to communication about the needs of people from Ukraine was established.
  • There are some difficulties in employing people from Ukraine, because even programmers do not always speak good English.
  • Individuals from Ukraine are employed in bank branches for facilitation purposes service of Ukrainians by banks.

Selected actions to alleviate the migration crisis:

  • Additional days are used for volunteering, including going to Ukraine.
  • A fundraiser is underway using the funds of employees and banks transferred both to specific institutions and organizations in Ukraine and in Poland and to international organizations.
  • Foundations established by banks are involved.
  • Transport of people and children from the border, but also abroad.
  • Providing company cars to employees who decide to bring people from the border.
  • Helping people find their place on the labor market in Poland. Learning Polish for refugees.
  • The foundations cooperate with Ukrainians from Dniepro and Mariupol in the collection of food, water.
  • In Poland, foundations help children brought from orphanages in Ukraine.
  • BGK coordinates the management of volunteering in The Torwar Arena.
  • mBank used its old headquarters as premises for Ukrainians, a school was also created there and a common room.

More information: [email protected]

Communique of the Polish Bank Association on aid measures taken by banks in connection with the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic. 

The English version is for information purposes only. Official Communiqué document drawn up in Polish.

This Communication is submitted by banks in the face of the threat of spreading the COVID-19 pandemic, which may have today unpredictable effects on the financial situation of borrowers - bank clients.  
This Communication indicates:

  • recognition by banks as desirable for them to take urgent appropriate and adequate measures to address difficulties in repayment of liabilities to banks which, due to the COVID-19, may be borne by borrowers;
  • assuring clients that the actions taken by banks are aimed at introducing as simplified and deformalized assistance measures as possible for natural and legal persons who are borrowers and in financial difficulties due to the COVID-19;

Considering the above, the banks will take the following actions towards clients in relation to the COVID-19. 

  1. Banks will facilitate in the most simplified way - to the extent permitted by the provisions of the current law – postponement (suspension) of repayment of principal and interest installments or capital installments for a period of up to 3 months and automatic extension by the same period of the total loan repayment period provided extension of the period of validity of loan collateral. The facilitations are to relate to housing loans, consumer loans for individual clients, loans to entrepreneurs and will include on quick consideration of the applications of those clients who justify the need to postpone (suspend) their loan due to their financial situation caused by the COVID-19.
  2. The banks will provide their assistance to all entrepreneurs who had creditworthiness at the end of 2019, who were affected by the effects of the COVID-19 and who are due to renew existing financing in the coming months, in the form of renewal of financing for a period of up to 6 months at the request of the client.
  3. Banks that have a leasing company in their capital group will take action to apply postponement of repayment of leasing installments due from lessees on the same basis as applied by the bank in relation to postponed loan repayment.
  4. Banks that have a factoring company in their capital group will take action to apply postponement of repayments due from customers on a parallel basis to the one applied by the bank in relation to postponed loan repayment.
  5. Banks will not charge fees or commissions for the acceptance and consideration of applications for suspension of repayment of principal and interest installments or principal installments. Banks will enable submission of these applications in a less formalized manner, i.e. without the need to submit additional documents and certificates confirming in detail the current financial and economic situation. Banks will provide the opportunity to submit these applications also via e-mail, electronic banking or telephone according to the forms of communication provided for in the agreement with the bank. Banks will allow the submission of the above mentioned applications in a remote form even if it was not included in the contract with the bank, provided that the customer can be identified.
  6. Banks are ready to launch the process of facilitating access to short-term credit to entrepreneurs to stabilize the financial standing of a client who has been affected by the effects of the COVID-19. Banks are waiting for the quick completion of work initiated in recent days by state authorities and government agencies, which will make possible to offer such assistance. The next communication will provide details on how to facilitate an access to short-term loans.
  7. Banks will take part in works that will allow to increase the maximum amount of contactless payments to PLN 100 in a short time.
  8. The banks, in cooperation with the Cashless Poland Foundation, will take steps to install additional tens of thousands of POS devices in places where payment transactions are carried out.

Banks declare that the provisions of this Communication will be immediately implemented and applied by the banks.
At the same time, the banks call on state authorities to take urgent measures to mitigate the economic effects of the COVID -19 in Poland for entrepreneurs and to ensure the stability of the financial system.

More information: [email protected]

The statutory tasks of the Association include:

  • Representing  and protecting  common interests of member banks, inter alia with respect to legal regulations related to banking;
  • Delegating representatives to participate in the work of banking operations advisory and evaluating  bodies;
  • Participating in legislative work of  legislatory commissions of the Sejm (the Parliament lower chamber) and the Senate;
  • Cooperating with the National Bank of Poland, the government and the competent ministries in the area of operation of legal regulations applicable to the Polish banking system;
  • Organizing the exchange of information between banks;
  • Promoting of the banking sector and financial services;
  • Constructing of the inter-bank infrastructure;
  • Supporting the standardization of banking products and services;
  • Disseminating of knowledge in the area of banking;
  • Conducting conciliatory proceedings and amicable judicature for banks;
  • Promoting  of good banking practice rules;
  • Supporting professional education;
  • Co-ordinating of training programmes for banking staff.

Banking infrastructure institutions founded on initiative of and in cooperation with the Polish Bank Association:

National Clearing Chamber -KIR SA, 
Banking Telecom Company “Telbank” (currently Exatel);

Credit Information Bureau -BIK SA  (www.bik.pl); 
CERA Central European Rating Agency (currently Fitch Polska SA); 
the Polish Financial Exchange (currently part of CeTO);
the Centre of Banking Law and Information (CPBiI );
and the Warsaw Banking Institute Foundation. 
The Association is also a shareholder of First Data Polska SA (formerly Polcard SA) and  the International School of Banking and Finance in Katowice.

Within the Association there are  numerous consultative committees, councils,  task forces and other bodies.  Their objective is to  develop and issue opinions and positions in matters determining the correct operation of the Polish banking system.

Major bodies operating within The Polish Bank Association:

Supervisory Regulations Advisory Committee; 
Public Relations Council ;

Banking Security Committee ;
Accounting and Taxation Committee ;
Banking Staff and Training Committee; 
Polish Banking Qualification Standards Committee ;
Financial Market Instruments Standards Committee ;
Payment System Committee ;
Technical Committee No. 271 for Banking and Banking Financial Services ;
Depository Banks Council ;
Banking Cards Issuers Council ;
Funds Management Council ;
Polish Committee of SWIFT Users ;
Court of Arbitration;
Banking  Ethics Commission; 
Housing Finance Committee
Acquirers Committee
Commercial Papers Council
Electronic Banking Council
Banking Law Council
Banking Technology Forum

Representatives of the Association participate in work of the Bank Guarantee Fund Council.

The Association of Polish Banks is a member of the European Banking Federation (www.ebf-fbe.eu) /since 1992/, the ICC Poland www.iccpolska.pl /since 2000/, the International Association of Banking Security / since1997/ and the European Payments Council (www.europeanpaymentscouncil.eu) /since 2002/.


The Polish Banks Association is a founder of the prestigious journalistic Marian Krzak award intended for journalists and publicists dealing with the banking issues, and a co-founder of the Marian Kanton award for the best Master and Doctoral thesis in banking, with particular consideration of inter-bank settlements.

In 2000 and 2003, the Association was granted the Alice Award for all its activities, for establishing the institution of the Banking Ombudsman, and for the Campaign for Direct Debit. The ZBP  has also received the “European Pearl” award for the institutional input in the promotion of the European idea in Poland, and in particular for the creation of the Polish banking infrastructure.

The Banker’s Club in Warsaw (www.klubbankowca.pl) is managed by the Association.


The changes of social, economic, political and technological nature that we are currently observing in numerous countries are taking place at a very fast pace. Unfortunately, the contemporary world is rocked by a number of clashes and tensions of economic and territorial character. Confl icts and disputes of a purely political variety are observed as well, with all of them exerting a highly negative impact on international cooperation, security and global economic order. With all those circumstances taken into consideration, forecasting the scenarios based on which individual countries will be developing becomes a very diffi cult task that requires a number of processes of both intra-continental and global nature to be taken into account.

The “Poland and Europe - Challenges and Limitations” report should be treated as an introduction and invitation to a broader discussion concerned with topics that are of great significance from the point of view of Polish citizens and the national economy. These topics are related to the much needed increase in the capacity of the Polish banks and of other related institutions to participate in the implementation of national and regional development programs, with the security of deposits and the stability of fi nancial institutions that play such an important role in market economy taken into consideration as well.

Download file Poland and Europe - Challenges and Limitations - September 2019