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Poland looks to shield courts from growing Swiss franc loan lawsuits

Poland's justice ministry has been in talks with local banks to work out solutions that could help courts deal with the growing number of cases filed against lenders by Swiss franc mortgage holders, Rzeczpospolita reported.

The representatives of banks and the justice ministry already held their first meeting, with options discussed including obligatory mediation between banks and clients involved in Swiss franc mortgage disputes and other solutions that would not require the involvement of courts, according to the report.

Around 3,200 new lawsuits were launched against banks by Swiss franc mortgage holders during the third quarter, an increase of more than 40% quarter over quarter, and more cases are expected to be filed in the coming months following the European Court of Justice's October ruling, which sided with the mortgage holders in their dispute with the Polish unit of Raiffeisen Bank International AG.

Meanwhile, Alexander Fleischmann, who heads RBI's Polish operations, warned that in case of court judgments resulting in the annulment of the mortgage agreements, the bank will request borrowers to pay remuneration for the use of capital for the time when the loan was granted, Parkiet said.