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Presidential office outlines ‘foreign-exchange mortgage’ bill

Polish banks will have time to come up with a compromise on the conversion of foreign-exchange denominated mortgages, according to a senior presidential aide. The aide, Maciej Łopiński, presented a new “Swiss-franc” bill drafted by President Andrzej Duda at a press conference on Tuesday.

“We started […] with the spreads, but did not end there,” Łopiński said, referring to a major part of the bill where banks will have to return wrongly accrued spreads (borrowing fees) to borrowers.

“Banks will have time to get through a compromise procedure which leads to conversion,” Łopiński said.

Łopiński added that the bill drafted by the President’s Office “provides real benefits to borrowers – not only those with Swiss-franc mortgages, but all those who took out loans denominated in, or indexed to, foreign currencies”.

A bill to help holders of Swiss-franc mortgages in Poland was one of the election pledges of President Duda.

Hundreds of thousands of Polish families took out mortgages denominated in foreign currencies up until around 2010. Later, the removal of a fixed exchange rate against the euro by the Swiss central bank meant that monthly instalments ballooned almost overnight.

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