WARSAW Oct 17 Poland's central bank should
supervise the entire financial sector and such a transfer might
take place in the next one or two years, newly appointed head of
the financial supervisor KNF Marek Chrzanowski has said.
Chrzanowski also said the process of increasing domestic
ownership in the Polish banking sector, known in Warsaw as
"re-polonisation", was a positive phenomenon as it would make
Polish banks less vulnerable to external shocks.
Chrzanowski spoke with reporters last Thursday in remarks
authorised for release on Monday morning.
"I personally think that the most reasonable solution, which
has been implemented in many European Union countries, is to
transfer supervision over all of the financial sector to the
central bank," Chrzanowski said.
He was appointed head of the Polish Financial Supervision
Authority (KNF) earlier in October after he quit the central
bank's interest-rate setting panel.
Chrzanowski's comments echoed those of the central bank
governor Adam Glapinski, who called earlier this year for
transferring the responsibility for regulating banks to the
Both Glapinski and Chrzanowski have been appointed to their
current posts by representatives of the ruling eurosceptic Law
and Justice (PiS) party, which won last year's election against
the previous centrist government.
PiS wants to increase state control over the domestic
banking system, of which about 60 percent is currently owned by
foreign banking groups.
During the weekend, the state-run insurer PZU said it was in
talks to buy Poland's second largest bank, Bank Pekao,
from Italy's Unicredit. Bank Pekao's assets account for 10
percent of the sector's total.
"More domestic capital (in the baking sector) means
decisions regarding risk exposure are taken domestically, so the
banking sector transmits external shocks to the Polish economy
to a smaller extent," Chrzanowski said.
Chrzanowski said the Polish financial sector was "stable and
safe", with only foreign currency-denominated loans being an
The head of KNF said he hoped lawmakers would adjust a bill
on solving the problem of Swiss franc mortgages in line with
suggestions from the central bank.
Chrzanowski said doing so should reduce the cost of the bill
for banks by about 4 billion zlotys ($1.05 billion) from 9.3
billion zlotys estimated earlier by the supervisor. The bill is
to be debated in parliament later this week.
($1 = 3.8193 zlotys)
(Reporting by Pawel Sobczak; Writing by Marcin Goettig; Editing
by Tom Heneghan)