Tadeusz Kościński: Cautious Poland avoided others’ financial excesses

Minister of Economic Development Tadeusz Kościński wrote an open letter to the Financial Time. It is interesting and we publish it in full.

Sir, Your beyondbrics article “Poland’s rush to banking sector socialism” (FT.com, June 30) demands a balanced response. The authors distort the reality and intent of this and previous governments’ prudent oversight of the continually growing and maturing banking sector in Poland.

This cautious policy has helped avoid the excesses of more than one European financial institution that led directly to some of the major problems experienced following the financial crisis of the late 2000s. That some of these European entities were also vested in the Polish banking sector meant that in several instances their problems spilled over into Poland, impeding their ability to support and fund their Polish operations. When such a bank takes a strategic decision to sell its business in any country it should be free to do so; such are the rules of an open market economy, as indeed is the case in Poland.

We do not have a policy of “nationalising” or “repolonising” foreign-owned banks. However, if there is a threat to the stability of the banking sector and the government can help out, it will endeavour to do so. We believe this is the duty of responsible government and by no means equates to a conscious policy of nationalisation as was the case in several western European countries in their own period of postwar development, and more recently!

Balanced ownership between private and public is a given and needs to be approached with flexibility. Poland welcomes all and every investor who wishes to participate in and contribute to the further success of Europe’s only country to maintain year-on-year gross domestic product growth since 1991.

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