WARSAW Jan 18 The Polish government may support
borrowers with mortgages in Swiss francs if that currency stays
above the 4 zloty level in the longer term, Deputy Prime
Minister Janusz Piechocinski said on Sunday.
Warsaw banking sources said last week the government would
come under pressure to provide relief for those borrowers after
the Swiss franc jumped to 4.2 zlotys from 3.6 on Wednesday
following the Swiss National Bank decision to scrap its cap on
Poland's stock of Swiss franc-denominated mortgages stood at
about $36 billion at the end of last November - almost 8 percent
of gross domestic product in central Europe's biggest economy.
Poland faces a general election in October.
"If the franc falls below 4 zlotys, the pressure for changes
in regulations will be different," Piechocinski, a leader of the
Polish Peasants' Party (PSL) party in the government coalition,
told a news briefing.
"If it stays (at the current level) longer, then there will
be a need to think about a rational support plan, not only
because of the creditors, but also because of the banks'
condition," he said without elaborating.
The banks with large portfolios of Swiss franc-denominated
mortgages are Getin Noble Bank, PKO BP,
General Electric's Polish unit BPH, Santander's
BZ WBK, Commerzbank's mBank, and
Finance Minister Mateusz Szczurek has called a meeting for
Tuesday with the heads of Poland's central bank and commercial
banks following the surge in the Swiss franc, saying the meeting
would discuss the foreign exchange market.
(Reporting by Marcin Goclowski and by Jakub Iglewski; Editing
by Tom Heneghan)