President Helps Swiss Franc Payers

Swiss Franc

Swiss Franc

Poland’s Financial Supervision Authority (KNF) has calculated the costs of the new draft act on financial aid to those citizens paying off mortgages in Swiss Francs, put forward at the behest of the President. The costs, it appears, are gigantic. The KNF believes that the financial consequences of the act would “not only upset the stability of some banks, but also, in a worst-case scenario, cause a financial crisis”. Aid for Franc-payers was one of Andrzej Duda’s key presidential campaign promises. The Office of the President has prevaricated for a long while in presenting the draft act, putting it forward as late as mid-January. Despite claims that fees for Swiss Franc mortgage lenders would be converted into a “fair” exchange rate, the draft did not include any calculations of the financial consequences thereof. Members of the Office of the President asked the KNF to prepare the appropriate calculations. It appears, however, that the KNF’s opinion of the act is crushing. According to the KNF: “there is a group of banks for which the deficit in their own capital is significant; this would decrease even more sharply after the mortgage restructuring process, below safety levels”. What is more, we have to be aware and open to the periodic market disturbances that never fail to appear, which, on top of this restructuring process, would significantly weaken the Polish złoty. The Office of the President is currently analysing the expert opinion of the KNF.
newsweek.pl

Polish Actors go International

Joanna Kulig

Joanna Kulig

International film producers are increasingly turning their gaze to Poland, whose actors are no longer playing only supporting roles, but have begun to star more frequently in foreign movies. Polish fingers have been well and firmly crossed for Joanna Kulig, who charmed audiences in Elles’ and The Woman in the Fifth’; for Daniel Olbrychski, who played alongside Angelina Jolie in Salt’; and for Agnieszka Grochowska in Ridley Scott’s Child 44′. More recently, Anne Fontaine’s ‘Les Innocentes’ stars Polish actresses Agata Kulesza and Agata Buzek, and ‘The Red Captain’ sees Poland’s Maciej Stuhr hit the silver screen in the Czech Republic and Slovakia. The film is an adaptation of Dominik Dán’s novel of the same title and is set in the ’90s during the time of dissolution of Czechoslovakia. Richard Krauz (Maciej Stuhr), a young ambitious detective, begins an investigation into a mysterious homicide on a construction site. Step by step, Krauz starts putting together the pieces of a jigsaw puzzle that leads him to the former Czechoslovakian Security Services, the police and their links to several church dignitaries. ‘The Red Captain’ is a Slovakian, Czech and Polish co-production. The film hits Polish movie theatres this summer.
kultura.gazeta.pl

Staff Cuts in Banks

Is It Safe?

Is It Safe?

According to analysts and bankers, Poland’s banks, which employ a total of 170,000 people, are preparing for a series of dismissals for the first in a decade because of a decline in profits and government plans to charge the banking sector with additional costs. Last year, exceptionally low interest rates resulted in the loss of a quarter of the stock market value of some banks. New taxes put forward by the Law and Justice (PiS) government on assets and its plans to force banks to transform Swiss Franc mortgages into Polish złoty cause for concern because the decline in the value of the Franc has made mortgages too expensive for home owners. “By the end of 2017, new fees and taxes that have been recently forced on banks will result in the dismissal of 5% to 8% of the sector’s personnel,” says Mieczysław Groszek, vice president of the banking lobby of the Polish Bank Association (ZBP). One bank source claims that these dismissals may be higher. “For weaker banks, the reduction in personnel will reach around 10% to 20%. Thankfully, no cuts have taken place yet but HR departments are already beginning to evaluate the potential scale of the challenge ahead: the Excel spreadsheets have been prepared,” says one anonymous source.
biznes.onet.pl

Richest Polish Women

Dominika Kulczyk

Dominika Kulczyk

Forbes magazine has published the list of “100 Richest Poles”, in which men are still the leaders. Although, it is worth mentioning that women occupy 19 of the 100 places on the list, in most cases they are there together with their husbands. Individual Polish women-millionaires are rather rare. However, the 2016 list makes much better reading than last year, when only 16 women were on list. It is also worth noting that it was much more difficult to get on the list this year. Last year it was enough to have assets of PLN 240 million. This year, the list is propped up by ice cream moguls Zbigniew and Elżbieta Grycan who have assets of PLN 340 million. On this year’s list we find Dominika Kulczyk, daughter of the recently deceased Jan Kulczyk, together with her brother Sebastian; Elżbieta Filipiak, who runs IT company Comarch, together with her husband; Irena Eris, a leader in the cosmetics industry; and Teresa Mokrysz, founder of Mokate, together with her husband.
forbes.pl

UK in EU – Good for Poles?

There's the Exit, Donald

There’s the Exit, Donald

The UK has been allowed to limit benefits to people from other EU states, however, the cuts do not relate to Poles currently working in the UK. Newcomers to the British Isles, however, should worry as they will not be able to receive benefits for a period of 7 years. “It was a compromise, so each party had to give way. However, the top priority issue for us were the rights of Poles working in the UK,” according to Polish Prime Minister Beata Szydło. Things look different for benefits regarding children living in Poland and their parents working in another EU state. Soon, each EU member state will have the right to lower such child benefits. Even though people working abroad will not feel any significant difference until 2020; after that date they will be regarded as ‘newcomers’. This means that their benefits will be adjusted to the standard of living of the country where their children live. According to Szydło, a Polish mother currently working in the UK will not notice any difference, and the freshly introduced ‘500+ family programme’ (offering PLN 500 to a limited number of families) should compensate any possible loss of benefits after 2020. “Poland accepted this compromise to help stop the UK leaving the EU, as its exit would worsen the situation of Poles living there,” she added.
interia.pl

Prosumerism in Poland?

Helping Out?

Helping Out?

In relations between a financial institution and the client, the latter is often in a weaker position. The trend in improving the consumer’s position is ever more visible on the Polish market with a raft of new regulations being introduced, disclosure requirements for financial institutions, and a concerted education campaign giving consumers new found strength. New reports appear in the media every few months highlighting some unfair lending institution which led an elderly person to ruin, or a bank which lured a young family into taking a loan, which turned out to be unpayable for them. Such situations should be eliminated, say experts. They may not completely disappear, but improved legislation can limit such practices. Poland continues to be at the forefront in CEE in improving the lot of consumers.
biznes.newsweek.pl

Marriages Pay Lower Tax

Calculating Marriage

Calculating Marriage

Thanks to a joint tax compliance mechanism, married couples will pay lower taxes. The larger the disproportion in the incomes of spouses, the more beneficial this becomes. While filing your PIT (Personal Income Tax), couples need only fill in one form. In joint tax compliance, income is calculated, but combined only after deductions. Then, we divide the joint income into two and calculate tax on the basis of the tax scale. The actual tax liability is the result multiplied by two. Any tax relief can be deducted from this result. Married couples whose income is significantly unequal, and where one of the spouses’ income is above the tax threshold will benefit most in this situation. This is best illustrated in the example where one spouse does not earn any income at all, and the other makes the minimum amount of PLN 171,056. Then, the total joint annual income will be taxed at a rate of 18%, and the benefit will be PLN 12,529.44.
forbes.pl