Legal framework for the Polish banking system is laid down in the Banking Act of 29 August 1997.
It specifies the principles of carrying out banking activity, establishing and organising banks, including branches and representative offices of foreign banks, and branches of credit institutions, and also the principles of the exercise of banking supervision, reorganisation, liquidation and bankruptcy proceedings of banks.
The Act defines bank as a legal person, established pursuant to the provisions of statute, operating on the basis of authorisations to perform banking operations that expose to risk funds which have been entrusted to the bank and which are in any way repayable.
The banking activities that may be conducted solely by a bank, under the Banking Act, are:
• acceptance of deposits payable on demand or at a specified maturity, and the operation of such deposit accounts,
• operation of other bank accounts,
• extension of loans,
• issuing and confirmation of bank guarantees, and issuing and confirmation of letters of credit,
• issuing of bank securities,
• performance of bank monetary settlements,
• performance of other operations reserved solely for banks under separate legislation.
Moreover, the activities of banks are regulated in Poland, inter alia, by:
• the Act on Narodowy Bank Polski of 29 August 1997,
• the Act of 29 August 1997 on covered bonds and mortgage banks,
• the Act of 10 June 2016 on the Bank Guarantee Fund, Deposit Guarantee Scheme and Resolution.
Banks in Poland operate as commercial banks and cooperative banks. The rules of organization, operation and affiliation of the cooperative banks, as well as affiliation of the banks affiliating cooperative banks are stipulated in the Act of 7 December 2000 on the operation of cooperative banks, their affiliation and affiliating banks.
Information concerning financial situation of banks in Poland can be found on the website of:
- the Polish Financial Supervision Authority (PFSA) (link opens a new window in another website),
- NBP (link opens a new window in another website),
- BGF (link opens a new window in another website).
On the PFSA website you can also find the list of entities which have not obtained the PFSA's licence for banking activity (link opens a new window in another website). Deposits maintained in such entities are not covered by national guarantees - BGF.