In order to protect borrowers from high installments, the rulers can throw the baby out with the bathwater and discourage banks from granting loans. Fearing further credit holidays or borrowers’ lawsuits, banks may raise margins or limit the number of borrowers. In such a situation, loans would become available to a narrow group of customers.
Several days ago, Bank Millennium announced that it would not join the “Safe Credit 2%” program. Vice President Fernando Bicho, during a teleconference with journalists, explained that this decision is not because the bank has reservations about the subsidy program as such, but “is associated with the difficulty of implementing long-term financing under legal conditions in Poland”. To put it more understandably: Millennium sees lending in Poland as a risky business.
Loans: high-risk products?
There are more such warning signs for banks. In June, frankowiczów won in the CJEU. The Court ruled that the banks were not entitled remuneration after cancellation of the loan agreement for having made the capital available to the borrower, but borrowers can apply for additional remuneration. Furthermore, the Court has decided that nothing prevents the courts from granting security in the form of a suspension of payments for the duration of the litigation. Thus, borrowers may not pay anything for several years, because court disputes last a very long time.
The provisions of the agreements regarding WIBOR are also questioned by PLN borrowers. Earlier, by the government’s decision, banks granted credit holidays to borrowers, and the rulers did not firmly say that there would be no next installment of the holidays. When asked about this, the prime minister, family minister or government spokesman replied that the decision would be made in the fourth quarter on the basis of an assessment of the condition of the economy.
All this creates a framework in which it is difficult for banks to conduct a planned credit policy. This uncertainty and the need to select customers may have been the reasons why, in June 2022, the first bank – BNP Paribas – decided to grant mortgage loans only to existing customers. Although he explained in the communication that he wanted to focus on the needs of customers, there could be something wrong with it.
Banks may tighten lending policies
“Rzeczpospolita” points out that “if the mega-prudential approach to mortgages spread, it would be a problem for Poles. Housing loans could become a luxury good: either very difficult to obtain, requiring the fulfillment of many stricter conditions, or very expensive.
– So far, mortgages have not been charged with too high margins, because they have been a stable source of banking income in the long term. However, if this source is no longer stable, then you need to think about its price – said the banker quoted by the newspaper.