The European Commission has approved under EC state aid rules a Polish scheme for financial institutions in the times of financial crisis.

The Commission approved the measure, as it provides for non-discriminatory access for eligible financial institutions having its seat in Poland, is limited in time and scope and includes safeguards to minimise distortions of competition.

The scheme foresees two categories of support measures concerning the financial crisis:

  • State Treasury guarantees for the issuance of new senior debt by banks, and
  • liquidity support measures in the form of Treasury bonds, either as a loan or to be sold with deferred payment.

The guarantees and loans will be provided with respect to measures with maturity from three months up to five years. In case the maturity exceeds three years, the bank loan will be restricted to maximum 1/3 of the value of all the beneficiary's bank loans that are supported by the scheme.

Only credit institutions will have access to debt guarantees on newly issued debt. In case a beneficiary should call upon the State guarantee or the beneficiary should default on its liabilities related to Treasury bonds, a restructuring plan would be submitted within six months.

Eligible institutions may apply for the support under the scheme until 31 December 2009, but support may be granted later, within the six-month period as from the day of the adoption of this Commission's decision.

Since the release of the Commission's Guidance Communication on State aid to overcome the current financial crisis on 25 October 2008, the Commission has approved almost 70 decisions concerning schemes for financial institutions. Poland remained one of the last EU countries, which did not present such an aid scheme (compared for example with 14 German decisions, 9 Belgian decisions, 7 Dutch decisions).

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The original publication date for this article was 29/09/2009.