The meeting of the Financial Stability Committee (FSC) of 9 December 2022 was attended by:
- Paweł Szałamacha, Member of the Management Board of Narodowy Bank Polski as the Chair of the Committee,
- Piotr Patkowski, Undersecretary of State, Ministry of Finance,
- Jacek Jastrzębski, Chairman of the Polish Financial Supervision Authority,
- Piotr Tomaszewski, President of the Management Board of the Bank Guarantee Fund.
Performing its statutory duties, the Committee passed a resolution on a recommendation addressed to the Minister of Finance on maintaining the countercyclical buffer rate at 0% in the fourth quarter of 2022. The representative of the Minister of Finance agreed with the recommendation and acknowledged that there is no need to take legislative action in this area.
The Committee briefed itself on the NBP. Financial Stability Report. December 2022 and shared NBP’s opinion regarding the overall assessment of Poland’s financial stability. According to the Report, the banking sector remains resilient, but the balance of risks has deteriorated.
The Committee members discussed the sources of risk in the Polish financial system and its external environment, indicated in a periodic survey conducted among the institutions represented in the FSC. The most important source of risk to the Polish financial system continued to be the legal risk associated with FX housing loans. Geopolitical risks resulting from the military operations of the Russian Federation in Ukraine occupies the next place in the hierarchy of risks. Contagion risk resulting from the vulnerabilities of certain institutions at the current stage was significantly mitigated as a result of the effective resolution of Getin Noble Bank S.A.
The Committee took note of the attempts to undermine the credibility and representativeness of the WIBOR reference rate (hereinafter: WIBOR) that had appeared in both media coverage and lawsuits. In this context, the Committee stated that it found no legal or economic grounds to negate the correct determination of this benchmark. In the opinion of the Committee, the requirements of the BMR1, which must be fulfilled by the administrator and the banks providing data needed for the calculation of this benchmark, provide adequate protection against possible misuse. In December 2020, the Polish Financial Supervision Authority (KNF) granted GPW Benchmark S.A. authorisation to act as the administrator of the critical interest rate benchmark2, thus confirming that the method of developing WIBOR is compliant with the aforementioned regulation and ensures the reliability and credibility of the benchmark. The activities of GPW Benchmark S.A. are subject to KNF supervision, which also includes the instruments aimed at ensuring a suitable quality of data used to determine the benchmark and the process of its determination.
The orderly replacement of WIBOR prepared by the National Working Group for benchmark reform results from the implementation of the recommendation of international organisations on the departure from IBOR-type (interbank offer rate) interbank benchmarks. The planned replacement of WIBOR by a family of WIRON reference rates will be implemented in accordance with international practice and the adopted Polish Roadmap3.
The Committee points out attention to the fact that the formulated and repeated claims of alleged irregularities in the development of the WIBOR interest rate benchmark are unauthorised and harmful for the certainty of trading on the domestic financial market. The Committee warns that the further questioning of the credibility of WIBOR would be a source of risk to financial stability due to the scale of agreements and financial instruments in which this benchmark is used.
The Committee also summarised the current trends on the domestic residential real estate market. Currently a significant fall is observed in the volume of apartment sales, number of apartments offered for sale, and credit-financed investment in apartments for rent. Along with the tightening of credit terms, historically low demand for new housing loans has also been observed as well as a decrease in banks’ loan portfolios.
The Committee briefed itself on the current stage of implementation of borrower support programmes for: (i) the use of so-called loan repayment holidays and (ii) assistance from the Borrowers’ Support Fund as well as their impact on the financial situation of banks.
For the purposes of assessment of risk related to financial market infrastructure, the Committee was presented with the Polish Payment System Oversight Report for 2021.
In connection with the published statement regarding the functioning of the cooperative banking sector (Resolution No. 47/2021), the Committee took note of the information from the affiliating banks and the Institutional Protection Schemes on measures taken to improve the operating efficiency of cooperative banking.
Implementing the European Systemic Risk Board (ESRB) recommendation on the assessment of cross-border effects of and voluntary reciprocity for macroprudential policy measures, the Committee studied the results of the monitoring of the Polish banking sector’s exposures to France and concluded that there are reasons justifying upholding the decision on non-reciprocation of the implemented macroprudential instrument.
The next regular meeting of the Committee on macroprudential supervision has been scheduled for March 2023.
1 Regulation (EU) 2016/1011 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 8 June 2016 on indices used as benchmarks in financial instruments and financial contracts or to measure the performance of investment funds and amending Directives 2008/48/EC and 2014/17/EU and Regulation (EU) No 596/2014 (OJ L171 of 2016, p. 1, as amended).
2 Decision of KNF available at: https://dziennikurzedowy.knf.gov.pl/DU_KNF/2020/32/akt.pdf.
3 The document of the National Working Group for benchmark reform is available at the website: https://www.knf.gov.pl/dla_rynku/Wskazniki_referencyjne/aktualnosci?articleId=79727&p_id=18.