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Santander Bank Polska ups provisions on forex loans, loan fees reimbursement

Santander Bank Polska SA set aside provisions for legal risk associated with its foreign-currency mortgage portfolio and for the reimbursement of a portion of the fees on consumer loans repaid ahead of schedule.

The bank expects provisions to have an impact of 357 million zlotys on its consolidated pretax profit for the fourth quarter of 2019.

The bank set aside the funds in response to the September and October verdicts of the European Court of Justice, which could affect the financial performance of banks operating in Poland.

The provision for legal risk connected with forex mortgage loans amounted to 173 million zlotys, with 149 million zlotys falling onto Santander Bank Polska itself and 24 million zlotys set aside by its unit Santander Consumer Bank SA. The provision was recognized in operating expenses.

The lender said in its Jan. 7 filing that the provision for the reimbursement of a portion of fees related to the early repayment of consumer loans amounted to 184 million zlotys. The figure includes 46 million zlotys that reduced Santander Bank Polska's net interest income and 9 million zlotys recognized in operating expenses, as well as 55 million zlotys that reduced Santander Consumer Bank's net interest income and 74 million zlotys recognized in operating expenses.

The bank earlier estimated that the provision to be set aside in the fourth quarter for this purpose would amount to between 100 million zlotys and 150 million zlotys.

Banco Santander SA is the ultimate parent of Santander Bank Polska and Santander Consumer Bank.

As of Jan. 7, US$1 was equivalent to 3.81 Polish zlotys.