Economy and Banking Sector of Poland

Poland is a Central European country, a member of the European Union since 2004. Poland is a developed high-income economy, one of the most stable and prosperous of the post-Communist countries.

Poland is a regional economic leader of East-Central Europe, which successfully made its transition from a centrally planned to a primarily market-based economy. Poland has strong domestic market, low private debt, and flexible currency. Main industries of Polish economy are machine building, iron and steel, coal mining, chemicals, shipbuilding, food processing, glass, beverages, textiles.

Polish banking sector is dominated by foreign-controlled banks, with the presence of domestic commercial banks; there are also two domestic cooperative banking groups operating in Poland.

Location Central Europe
Population (2016)37 967 209 ↓ (0.00%)
EU Status member since 2004
Economy
National Currency PLN (Polish złoty)
    Exchange Rate (2017-02-17) 1 EUR = 4.3305 PLN
GDP 
    Nominal GDP (2015)427.8 bln EUR ↑ (+0.03%)
    Nominal GDP per Capita (2015)11 100 EUR ↑ (+0.04%)
    Real GDP Growth (2015)3.6 % ↑ (2014: 3.3 %)
Inflation Rate 
    CPI, MoM (Dec 2016)0.5 % ↑ (Nov 2016: 0.0 %)
    CPI, YoY (Dec 2016)0.9 % ↑ (Nov 2016: 0.2 %)
    CPI, Year Average (2016)-0.2 % ↑ (2015: -0.7 %)
Unemployment Rate (2015)7.5 % ↓ (2014: 9.0 %)
Government Bond Yield (Dec 2016)3.54 % ↑ (Nov 2016: 3.41 %)
Credit Ratings (as of Sep 2016)
    FitchA- high credit quality, outlook stable
    Moody'sA2 upper medium grade, outlook negative
    S&PBBB+ lower medium grade
Taxation
Double Taxation Agreements 86 signed agreements
Information Exchange 
    Exchange on Request 14 signed agreements
    Automatic Exchange starts in September 2017
FATCA IGA in effect since 07 October 2014, Model 1
Banking Sector
Financial Market Development 4.2 (max 7.0) rank: 46th out of 138 countries
    Banks' Soundness 5.4 (max 7.0) rank: 49th out of 138 countries
Banking Industry Country Risk 5(1 - lowest risk, 10 - highest risk)
    Economy Risk 5
    Industry Risk 6
Deposit Guarantee Scheme 
    Maximum Protected Amount 100 000 EUR
Country Ceiling for Deposits 
    Local Currency (Polish złoty)Aa3 high grade
    Foreign CurrencyA2 upper medium grade
Deposit Rates (Nov 2016, PLN)1.57 % ↓ (Oct 2016: 1.64 %)
Banking Sector Structure 
    Number of Banks668
    Recent Changes (2016) new banks: 0, closed banks: 4
    Consolidated Assets (2015) 376.36 bln EUR ↑ (+4.32%)
Major Banks
 PKO Bank Polski  Bank Zachodni WBK (Santander)
 Bank Pekao (UniCredit)  Raiffeisen Polbank
 mBank (Commerzbank)  Bank Millennium (BC Portugues)
 ING Bank
 List of Banks in Poland

Polish Economy

National Currency

During the last 11 years EURPLN exchange rate was within the range 3.2063 - 4.7030, reaching its maximum in Feb 2009 and falling to its minimum in Jul 2008.

Euro to Polish złoty (EURPLN).
Chart 1. Euro to Polish złoty (EURPLN). Source: ECB.
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GDP

According to Eurostat, nominal GDP of Poland in 2015 was 427.8 bln EUR.

Poland outperforms the European Union in terms of real GDP growth with the average annual differential coming to 1.6% over the past 10 years (2005 - 2015). In 2015 real GDP growth was 3.6% which was above the Euro Area average (1.6%) and above the European Union average (1.9%). Real GDP growth in 2016 - 2021 are IMF's estimates.

Real GDP Growth in Poland.
Chart 2. Real GDP Growth in Poland. Source: Eurostat, International Monetary Fund.

In 2015, nominal GDP per capita in Poland was 11 100 EUR.

Poland has a below-average level of wealth in terms of per-capita GDP at purchasing power parity (PPP); this economic welfare indicator has, on average, fell behind that of the European Union by -25.4% over the past 10 years (2005 - 2015). GDP per capita at PPP in 2016 - 2021 are IMF's estimates.

GDP Per Capita at Purchasing Power Parity in  Poland; European Union = 100.
Chart 3. GDP Per Capita at Purchasing Power Parity in Poland; European Union = 100.
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Inflation Rate

According to Eurostat, inflation rate in Poland in 2016 expressed as annual percentages of average consumer prices was -0.2% which was below the Euro Area average (0.2%) and below the European Union average (0.3%). Inflation rates in 2017 - 2021 are IMF's estimates.

Inflation Rate in Poland.
Chart 4. Inflation Rate in Poland. Source: Eurostat, International Monetary Fund.
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Taxation in Poland

Double Taxation Agreements

Double Taxation Agreement (DTA) is an agreement between two or more countries for the avoidance of double taxation.

Poland signed DTAs which already came info force with the following jurisdictions (for agreements which came into force after 01 January 2013 the date of coming into force is given in brackets):

 Albania
 Armenia
 Australia
 Austria
 Azerbaijan
 Bangladesh
 Belarus
 Belgium
 Bosnia and Herzegovina
 Bulgaria
 Canada (Oct 2013)
 Chile
 China
 Croatia
 Cyprus
 Czech Republic
 Denmark
 Egypt
 Estonia
 Finland
 France
 Georgia
 Germany
 Greece
 Hungary
 Iceland
 India
 Indonesia
 Iran, Islamic Republic of
 Ireland
 Israel
 Italy
 Japan
 Jersey
 Jordan
 Kazakhstan
 Korea, Republic of
 Kuwait
 Kyrgyzstan
 Latvia
 Lebanon
 Lithuania
 Luxembourg
 Macedonia
 Malaysia
 Malta
 Mexico
 Moldova, Republic of
 Mongolia
 Montenegro
 Morocco
 Netherlands
 New Zealand
 Norway
 Pakistan
 Philippines
 Portugal
 Qatar
 Romania
 Russian Federation
 Saudi Arabia
 Serbia
 Singapore (Feb 2014)
 Slovakia
 Slovenia
 South Africa
 Spain
 Sri Lanka
 Sweden
 Switzerland
 Syrian Arab Republic
 Tajikistan
 Thailand
 Tunisia
 Turkey
 Ukraine
 United Arab Emirates
 United Kingdom
 United States
 Uzbekistan
 Vietnam
 Zimbabwe

There are also several agreements between Poland and other jurisdictions which were signed but haven't yet come into force (for agreements signed after after 01 January 2013 of signing the agreement is given in brackets):

 Malaysia (Jul 2013)
 Nigeria
 United States (Feb 2013)
 Zambia
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Information Exchange

There are 3 ways for jusrisdictions to exchange information on tax matters:

  • spontaneously;
  • on request;
  • automatically.

Spontaneous exchange of information is provision of information that is forseeably relevant to another party without a request being previously sent.

Tax Information Exchange Agreements (TIEAs) enable exchange of information on request relating to a specific tax investigation, either criminal or civil.

Poland signed TIEAs which already came info force with the following jurisdictions (for agreements which came into force after 01 January 2013 the date of coming into force is given in brackets):

 Andorra (Dec 2013)
 Guernsey
 Isle of Man
 Jersey
 San Marino (Feb 2013)

There are also several agreements between Poland and other jurisdictions which was signed but haven't yet come into force (for agreements signed after 01 January 2013 of signing the agreement is given in brackets):

 Bahamas (Jun 2013)
 Belize (May 2013)
 Bermuda (Nov 2013)
 British Virgin Islands (Nov 2013)
 Cayman Islands (Nov 2013)
 Dominica
 Gibraltar (Jan 2013)
 Grenada
 Liberia (Aug 2013)

Automatic information exchange allows jurisdictions to exchange information automatically, without having a specific tax investigation.

Poland signed the automatic information exchange agreement on 29 October 2014 and committed to start the automatic information exchange in September 2017.

Further Information:
Automatic Exchange of Information on Financial Accounts
Countries Which Will Not Automatically Exchange Account Information

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FATCA

Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA) which became law in the United States in March 2010, focuses on reporting made by foreign financial institutions about financial accounts held by US taxpayers or foreign entities in which US taxpayers hold a substantial ownership interest. The FATCA-reporting is facilitated by Intergovernmental Agreements (IGAs).

Poland has FATCA agreement with the U.S. in effect since 07 October 2014 (Intergovernmental Agreement Model 1). Financial institutions operating in Poland are required to identify U.S. taxpayers by January 1, 2017 and to report the information for 2017 and the subsequent years. The agreement is reciprocal: Polish financial accounts hold in U.S. financial institutions will be reported to Polish authorities.

Further Information:
FATCA and European countries

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Polish Banking Sector

Financial Market Development

According to World Economic Forum's Global Competitiveness Report 2016-2017, financial market development in Poland is scored 4.2 out of maximum 7.0 and ranked 46th out of 138 analysed economies. Soundness of banks is scored 5.4 bringing Poland into the 49th place, trustworthiness and confidence of financial market is scored 4.6 (44th place).

Financial Market Development in Poland.
Chart 5. Financial Market Development in Poland. Source: WEF.
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Banking Industry Country Risk

Banking Industry Country Risk Assessment (BICRA) is a methodology designed by Standard&Poor's "to evaluate and compare global banking systems". A BICRA is scored on a scale from 1 to 10, ranging from the lowest-risk banking systems (group 1) to the highest-risk (group 10). The BICRA methodology has two main analytical components: "economic risk" and "industry risk". Each of the components is then further divided into 3 "factors" that result in an economic and industry risk score for each country.

Poland is included into group '5' with economic risk scored '5' and industry risk scored '6'.

BICRA Group 5
Economic risk 5
    Economic resilience intermediate
     Economic imbalances intermediate
    Credit risk in economy high
Industry risk 6
    Institutional framework high
    Competitive dynamics intermediate
    Systemwide funding high
Government support assessment supportive

Table 1. BICRA for Poland. Source: S&P's.

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Deposit Guarantee Scheme

Deposit Guarantee Schemes compensate certain deposits held by depositors of a bank that becomes unable to meet its obligations.

From a depositor's point of view it is important to know:

  • if the depositor is eligible within the terms of the deposit guarantee scheme;
  • if the depositor's bank is a participant in the deposit guarantee scheme;
  • if the depositor's type of deposit is covered by the deposit guarantee scheme.

All these details about deposit guarantee scheme in Poland are summarised in Table 2.

Scheme Participantsall credit institutions operating in Poland, branches of non-EU banks, branches of Polish banks abroad
Scheme Exemptionsbranches of EU-banks (covered by their home countries)
Eligible Depositorsnatural persons, legal entities
Covered Accountsdeposits in all the accounts (e.g. term deposits, current accounts, savings accounts)
Covered Currenciesall
Maximum Protected Amount100 000 EUR
Paid In CurrencyPLN

Table 2. Deposit guarantee scheme in Poland.

Further Information:
Deposit Guarantee Schemes in Europe

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Country Ceiling for Deposits

Moody's country ceilings for deposits specify the highest rating that can be assigned to local- or foreign- currency denominated deposit obligations of a bank or other deposit taking institution domiciled within that country.

Local currency (Polish złoty) deposit ceiling for Poland is set to Aa3 (high grade), foreign currency deposit ceiling is A2 (upper medium grade).

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Deposit Rates

In Nov 2016, an agreed annualised deposit rate in local currency (Polish złoty) of new contracts with agreed maturity up to 1 year between credit institutions and households was 1.57% .

Deposit Rates in Poland.
Chart 6. Deposit Rates in Poland. Source: ECB.

Further Information:
Compare Bank Deposits in Poland

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Banking Sector Structure

Currently there are 668 credit institutions operating in Poland.

Recent structural changes (2013 - 2016) of the banking sector of Poland are summarised in Table 3.

2013201420152016
Number of Opened Banks3010
Number of Closed Banks411104

Table 3. Recent structural changes in the banking sector of Poland.

All the credit institutions operating in Poland can be classified into several categories. Table 4 summarises the number of banks in each category.

CategoryNumber of Banks
Banks38
Branches of foreign banks20
Central banks1
Cooperative banks562
Credit unions47

Table 4. Number of banks by category in Poland.

The list of the most recently opened banks in Poland is provided in Table 5.

There are 21 branches of foreign banks from 11 different countries in Poland. Table 6 shows 10 countries having the biggest number of branches in Poland.

Country of OriginNumber of Branches
 Sweden4
 France4
 Ireland2
 Denmark2
 Portugal2
 Luxembourg2
 Spain1
 United Kingdom1
 Italy1
 Austria1

Table 6. Number of branches of foreign banks in Poland grouped by country of origin.

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