PIS MP: Poland may launch bank tax from March/April 2016; go cautious on FX loan conversion

Poland may introduce a new banking tax in March of April 2016, and should tread carefully with regard to a potential simultaneous conversion of FX mortgage loans to zloty so as not to “strangle” the banking sector, PiS MP Wojciech Kowalczyk told PAP.

“We are targeting the first 100 days: January 1 is not technically feasible, but it seems that from March 1 or the beginning of Q2 2016 it would be possible,” Kowalczyk said when asked about the timing of the introduction of the tax.

The form of the new tax will have will be decided by the new government early on, he reiterated. Officials have floated proposals for either a tax on assets or on financial transactions, but admit to favoring the former.

Poland should take into consideration that the coalescence of a new banking tax and legislation on FX loans conversion could bring excessive burdens for the sector, the politician suggested.

“We have to see what the realistic costs for banks will be,” Kowalczyk said. “One cannot lead to a ‘strangling’ of the sector.”

Poland’s opposition party PiS presented the idea of a new banking tax during its party convention in June. PiS officials have said they could take some PLN 5 bln annually from a 0.39% tax on assets.

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