banking & finance
One of the most critical issues captivating banks and their retail borrowers in recent years in Poland has been the future of foreign currency loans, especially those denominated in or indexed to Swiss francs. After the political battle around such loans has settled, the issue is now mainly addressed in court proceedings between borrowers and creditors. A long-awaited judgment was issued by the European Court of Justice on 3 October 2019 and has already been followed by judgments of local Polish courts. Putting aside myths and hopes, we look closer at what may be the actual consequences of the ECJ ruling for all interested parties: borrowers and both primary and secondary creditors.
The act of 9 November 2018 amending a number of laws, including the Banking Law, in order to reinforce oversight of the financial market entered into force at the beginning of this year. A new chapter was consequently added to the Banking Law concerning forced acquisition of banks coordinated by the Polish Financial Supervision Authority (KNF). The act has now been in force for several months, and it is a good occasion to examine in more detail the new powers vested in KNF.
On 5 March 2019, a legislative proposal was submitted to the Sejm to regulate business activity conducted from the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and Gibraltar following Brexit. Similar laws are now being drawn up in a number of other EU countries. The bill is intended to protect Polish customers who have agreements with institutions of that kind. It is also intended to enable the firms to bring their business activities and relationships with customers to a close in an orderly fashion, or take the appropriate measures to remain on the Polish market according to rules that apply to third countries.
A lot has been published on the harmful effects on the construction industry of the legal solutions proposed in the draft Act on Prevention of Abuses in Road Projects. A disadvantage of the concept of protection of local subcontractors presented by the Ministry of Justice may be to severely limit the General Directorate for National Roads and Motorways’ external financing of projects.
Demand guarantees are among the most popular methods of securing international commercial transactions. They may be used to secure both the payment of fees and satisfactory performance of particular works. The popularity of these guarantees (sometimes also referred to as payment guarantees) can be attributed to the fact that they are issued by trustworthy and globally recognisable financial institutions (usually banks and insurance companies), and their operation is governed by universal rules well-understood in the business community. Guarantees are also independent of the underlying relationship between the parties, and the payment conditions are based on objective criteria, eliminating the potential for unexpected interpretations and actions by the parties. Given these factors, it is understandable that disputes regarding payment guarantees can usually be avoided. However, when they do occur, they usually involve substantial sums, with the potential to affect the financial liquidity of the companies involved.
Regulations introducing the split payment mechanism for VAT entered into force in Poland on 1 July 2018. This mechanism in B2B transactions is designed as a weapon in the fight against VAT fraud.