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Polish court opts for CHF loan conversion in client dispute with Getin Noble

An appellate court in Warsaw overturned a lower court verdict that had annulled a Swiss franc-indexed loan contract, ruling that the loan should be converted into Polish zlotys, Puls Biznesu reported.

The ruling is one of first decisions issued by local courts after the European Court of Justice made its judgment in a case analyzing the implications of unfair indexation clauses for CHF-indexed mortgage loans.

The case analyzed by the Warsaw appellate court involved a dispute between two CHF mortgage holders and Getin Noble Bank SA, which has a significant exposure to forex mortgage loans. A court of lower instance earlier ruled in favor of the bank's clients and annulled their CHF mortgage contract due to the presence of abusive indexation clauses, after which Getin Noble appealed the verdict.

Partly overturning the verdict of a lower court, the appeal court said that a CHF indexation clause included in the mortgage contract is illegal, but the contract itself still remains valid. It also said the bank should pay back loan installments previously charged in CHF, and the remaining part of the loan that is subject to the ruling should be converted into Polish zlotys.

However, the appellate court did not set an interest rate for the converted loan, and the matter could be determined in separate court proceedings, with possible options including keeping an existing CHF Libor interest rate or making the loan interest free, Puls Biznesu reported.

Getin Bank's spokesman told news channel TVN24 BiS that the bank will consider further steps after a thorough analysis of the ruling. He also said it is difficult to make any projections on future court judgments at this point, saying that all client disputes will have to be analyzed by Polish courts on a case-by-case basis.