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Reports: Polish president tables new forex mortgage proposal

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Reports: Polish president tables new forex mortgage proposal

The office of Polish President Andrzej Duda filed a new bill with parliament aimed at encouraging banks to voluntarily restructure foreign-currency-denominated mortgages, Parkiet and Rzeczpospolita reported Aug. 2.

The draft law, which could be enforced in January 2018, will replace two earlier bills on the conversion of foreign-currency-denominated mortgages as well as, possibly, a bill on the refund of spreads charged by banks on such mortgage loans, Rzeczpospolita said.

Under the proposed bill, a new restructuring fund will be set up, which will be financed by bank contributions, according to the reports. The value of quarterly contributions to the fund will depend on the size of the individual mortgage portfolios, but will not exceed 0.5% of their value. It is estimated that total yearly contributions to the fund will amount up to 3.2 billion Polish zlotys, or 20% of the Polish banking sector's expected net profit for 2018, Rzeczpospolita noted.

Resources accumulated in the fund will be used to reimburse lenders actively converting such loans to cover the balance sheet difference between the value of the loans before and after the restructuring, the newspapers said.

The bill will also ease access to an existing 600 million zlotys support fund, which offers financial assistance to vulnerable holders of mortgage loans regardless of the currency in which these are denominated, Parkiet reported. Further quarterly payments from banks to the fund will amount to up to 1% of the value of overdue mortgage portfolios held by banks.

Lenders with the largest forex mortgage portfolios, calculated as of the end of 2016, include PKO Bank Polski SA, Commerzbank AG unit mBank SA, Millennium BCP unit Bank Millennium SA, Banco Santander SA unit Bank Zachodni WBK SA and Getin Noble Bank SA, Parkiet said.

As of Aug. 2, US$1 was equivalent to 3.59 Polish zlotys.