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UPDATE 5-Polish FX mortgage ruling delayed again as court seeks more views

05/11/2021 05:16
UPDATE 5-Polish FX mortgage ruling delayed again as court seeks more views

Recasts with delay

By Alan Charlish and Pawel Florkiewicz

- Thousands of Polish borrowers were again left in limbo on Tuesday as Poland's Supreme Court delayed a decision on how courts should treat cases involving foreign currency loans.

Many had pursued Polish banks over mortgages they took out in Swiss francs more than a decade ago to take advantage of low Swiss interest rates, only to face far higher costs when the value of the Polish zloty slumped.

Tuesday's hearing, which had already been delayed twice, was expected to lay out how courts should treat key issues in FX loan cases, such as whether banks can charge interest on a loan with a clause deemed to be abusive and when the period during which banks can claim the reimbursement of money begins.

However, at the end of a day which had seen the court and other state institutions evacuated after bomb threats, court spokesman Aleksander Stepkowski said the court had decided to seek opinions from institutions including Poland's central bank, financial regulator KNF and the children's rights ombudsman.

"These institutions have 30 days to take a position," Stepkowski told reporters. However, he said there was no fixed date for the next hearing on the subject.

"It can be said that these relatively non-standard actions are justified, in fact they fit in some way with the rather precedent-setting nature of the legal issue itself," he said.

Bank Millennium MILP.WA, the Polish unit of Portugal's BCP BCP.LS, said it saw no need to raise capital to cover potential settlements over Swiss franc loans. nL1N2MY0HQ

Separately, the CEO of state-run lender PKO BP PKO.WA unexpectedly resigned ahead of the hearing. nL8N2MY2YA

State-run news channel TVP Info reported that around 40 locations in Warsaw had been evacuated after the bomb threats.

(Reporting by Alan Charlish, Pawel Florkiewicz, Justyna Pawlak, Anna Wlodarczak-Semczuk, Alicja Ptak and Anna Koper; Editing by Emelia Sithole-Matarise, Jason Neely and Alexander Smith)

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