Pawel Samecki, Member of the Board of the National Bank of Poland (Narodowy Bank Polski- NBP) discusses the role of NBP in the Polish financial sector, highlighting its recent developments due to the EU integration processes.
European Times: What is the role of the NBP in Poland’s financial sector?
Pawel Samecki: First of all, the NBP is responsible for the stability of the national currency, through the development and implementation of the monetary policy strategy. In addition, the Bank ensures the country’s financial stability and supports the liquidity of the banking system. NBP is indirectly responsible for the macro prudential supervision. The Bank also contributes to the development of a secure infrastructure of the financial market.
European Times: Please elaborate on the EU assistance in the development of the Polish financial sector.
Pawel Samecki: The European Union has provided two forms of assistance to the development of the Polish financial sector. When the country started preparations to join the EU, we were provided with direct grant aid, advisory consulting services and training, which directly contributed to the development of both the banking system and individual banks.
The second form of assistance, after accession to the EU, refers to the policy advice and guidance received from the EU and the international financial institutions, such as the IMF, EBRD and the World Bank. Additionally,through selected banks the EU –under its regional policy–provides assistance addressed to SMEs as final beneficiaries of this form of support.
European Times: What are some of the country’s challenges and accomplishments as EU member?
Pawel Samecki: The financial sector of the country is stable, profitable and strong. As the banking sector has been unsophisticated and healthy for the last two decades, this provided protection from the negative impact of the crisis that stroke the financial sector in many other EU Member States. The profits did not decrease in 2016, despite the new tax measures, so many foreign and domestic investors will receive dividends from their assets in Poland.
Monetary policy, with the policy rate at the historic low level, is conducive to keeping the economy on the sustainable growth path.
All in all, the EU integration was among the key drivers of successful transition in Poland. The GDP per capita has increased from 35% of the EU average in mid-1990s, to 69% in 2015. In particular,Polish citizens much appreciate the benefits of the Schengen zone,enjoying the freedom to travel and work abroad. Polish young people are well educated which additionally contributes to the success of the economy.
The major challenge ahead of Poland is to transform the economy based on labour/wage competiveness into the economy that is competitive thanks to its high-tech and medium-tech products, brands and technologies.