Poland banking sector profits down in first quarter
WARSAW May 6 (Reuters) - Polish banks suffered a 3 percent year-on-year drop in net profits in the first quarter, with a rise in bad loan provisions weighing on results, the Polish Financial Supervision Authority said on Tuesday.
Poland's banking sector, 70 percent owned by foreign players, avoided the wider bad debt problems related to the financial crisis because of strict supervision by its regulator. Economic growth is seen exceeding 3 percent in 2014 while interest rates are at record lows.
The financial watchdog, which publishes aggregated monthly data collected from the industry, said bad loans provisions rose by 7 percent in the first quarter while interest income rose 13 percent after banks cut deposit rates following a decline in official interest rates.
Among those that have published results so far, Bank Zachodni WBK showed a 20-percent year-on-year rise in its net profit, while Bank Millennium increased its net profit by 30 percent.
This week, Alior Bank, ING Bank Slaski and Bank Handlowy are due to publish their results.
Poland's two largest banks, PKO BP and Pekao SA , publish results on May 15 and May 12 respectively.
($1 = 3.0295 Polish Zlotys) (Reporting by Marcin Goettig and Marcin Goclowski; Editing by Elaine Hardcastle)