Established in 1991, the Polish Bank Association (PBA) aims to represent and safeguard the common interests of the Polish banks, initiating measures for the development of the Polish banking sector on the European single market of financial services. Krzysztof Pietraszkiewicz, President, discusses the role of PBA in the sustainable development of the banking sector in Poland.
European Times: What are some of the accomplishments of the PBA?
Krzysztof Pietraszkiewicz: At the very beginning of action, the Association took active role in the creation of the Polish inter-banking infrastructure, developing special legal company named Banking Company Law (now the Centre for Banking Law and Information), established to support the banks’ legal services. On the initiative and with the participation of the Association, Poland has developed different institutions as part of the banking infrastructure, such as the National Clearing House Foundation, the Warsaw Institute of Banking, the Credit Information Bureau, the telecommunication company Telbank SA. The Association is also a shareholder and works closely with the International School of Banking and Finance in Katowice.
PBA has established the banking code of ethics and the ethic committee, a special body which monitors the situations in the banking industry and an inter-banking court as form of mediation between clients and banks. We also have a special banking arbitrary body within the ADR system. The Association had an important role in the discussions and the constitution of the new Polish banking law, defining the role of the Polish Central Bank and the Polish Financial Supervision Authority.
European Times: What are some of the activities the PBA is undertaking?
Krzysztof Pietraszkiewicz: The PBA, representing 620 banks in the country, is involved in the discussions with the parliament and the local governments, referring to the development strategy of Poland. We cooperate with 130 universities, promoting special educational programs like management of risk, electronic banking and cyber security. The Association has opened an office in Brussels in order to establish deeper cooperation with other members of the EU, and has close cooperation with the neighbouring countries, including Russia and Ukraine.
European Times: Could you elaborate on the current situation of Poland’s banking sector?
Krzysztof Pietraszkiewicz: Considering that the modernization is the base for success in the banking industry, PBA has established FINTECH, introducing online payments. Today, nearly 33 million clients have direct access to their accounts online and 15 million individuals and SMEs use the system in the everyday payment transactions. Even though the interest rates are higher, the country offers lower mortgage prices compared to the other EU countries. During the transition, the country established funds generated from the banks’ profits that are currently reaching €40.5 billion. It guarantees the stability of our banking system.