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Poland's Bank Guarantee Fund sets MREL target for Santander's local unit

Poland's Bank Guarantee Fund set the minimum requirement for own funds and eligible liabilities for Banco Santander SA unit Santander Bank Polska SA, with a Jan. 1, 2023, deadline to meet it.

The requirement was set at 15.87% of the sum of the lender's total liabilities and own funds, which corresponds to 22.146% of its total risk exposure on the group level, the lender said in its Dec. 18 filing.

The Bank Guarantee Fund also set interim minimum requirement for own funds and eligible liabilities, or MREL, targets for the bank that will have to be met by the end of 2019, 2020 and 2021.

MREL requirements were also recently announced for PKO Bank Polski SA and Bank Pekao, with each of them planning to issue about 10 billion zlotys worth of bonds to meet the targets, news agency PAP said Dec. 19.

Meanwhile, the Polish Bank Association's head Krzysztof Pietraszkiewicz warned that local lenders could experience problems with placing large MREL-eligible bond issuances over a short period of time. "That process should be executed carefully, so that it does not become a source of generating very large burdens and reducing [the banking sector's] capacities to finance the Polish economy," Pietraszkiewicz told a conference, according to the news agency.

As of Dec. 19, US$1 was equivalent to 3.83 Polish zlotys.