Economic and Political Environment
Poland has pursued a policy of economic liberalization since 1990 and today stands out as a success story among transition economies. It is the only country in the European Union to maintain positive GDP growth through the 2008-2009 economic downturn. GDP per capita is still much below the EU average, but is similar to that of the three Baltic states.
Since 2004, EU membership and access to EU structural funds have provided a major boost to the economy. Unemployment fell rapidly to 6.4% in October 2008, but climbed back to 11.8% for the year 2010, exceeding the EU average by more than 2%. Inflation reached a low of about 2.6% in 2010 due to the global economic slowdown but has since climbed and is expected to remain around 3%, and close to the upper limit of the National Bank of Poland's target rate.
Poland's economic performance could improve over the longer term if the country addresses some of the remaining deficiencies in its road and rail infrastructure and its business environment. An inefficient commercial court system, a rigid labor code, bureaucratic red tape, burdensome tax system, and persistent low-level corruption keep the private sector from performing up to its full potential.
Rising demands to fund health care, education, and the state pension system caused the public sector budget deficit to rise to 7.9% of GDP in 2010. The PO/PSL coalition government, which came to power in November 2007, has planned to reduce the budget deficit in 2011 and has also announced its intention to enact business-friendly reforms, increase workforce participation, reduce public sector spending growth, lower taxes, and accelerate privatization. The government has moved slowly on most major reforms, but has sped up privatization.
Key economic indicators:
- Population: 38,441,588 (July 2011 est.)
- GDP (purchasing power parity): $725.2 billion (2010 est.)
- Per capita GDP: $18,800 (2010 est.)
- Real GDP growth: 3.8% (2010 est.)
- Unemployment: 11.8% (2010 est.)
- Public debt: 53.6% of GDP (2010 est.)
The Banking Environment
The National Bank of Poland.
There are 61 commercial banks and over 600 cooperative banks; many of the latter are short of capital and members of that sector have closed or merged. For example, 400 co-operative banks merged to form Bank Polskej Spoldzielczosci.
80% of banking is under foreign ownership but the largest single bank by assets (PKO Bank Polski) remains state-owned.
Both residents and non-residents can have PLN and foreign currency accounts, and they can attract interest or go into overdraft. However, there are some restrictions – see Exchange Control.
Cash Management Features
Credit transfers are the dominant payment method. Debit cards are growing in importance but other methods – apart from cash – remain insignificant.
The majority of credit transfers are paper-based and until 2004 are still cleared in paper form.
The Postal Bank – Bank PKO Polski – is the largest bank and the postal payments system is important, running parallel to the private banking system, particularly for handling cash and distributing state benefits.
Zero-balancing is the preferred Liquidity Management technique; even then it can be inhibited by stamp duty. Due to exchange controls there is little market for the PLN currency in financial centres other than the domestic one, and restrictions on holding PLN outside Poland. If currency is to be moved, the payment has to be reported by residents all cases.
Usage of Payment Titles in Polish Payments
From time to time, some customers using MT101s to manage their Polish accounts have complaints about Polish payments which are not executed by Kredytbank Poland. In most cases this is related to the fact that the customer has not used or incorrectly used the Polish payment titles. Payments which are not in compliance with the Polish Foreign Exchange Law are not executed by Kredytbank Poland.
In collaboration with Kredytbank, a description is made below about the usage of payment titles in Polish Payments (Ordering party is a Polish account) for customers who are unfamiliar with these payments.
The Polish Foreign Exchange Law obliges customers to mention the purpose of the payment (Payment Title) in the payment instruction. Payments without proper Payment Title cannot be executed by Kredytbank.
The following payment types are affected :
- Cross border payments (both PLN and foreign currencies)
- Between resident and non-resident and vice versa (both PLN and foreign currencies)
- In foreign currency between residents (other than PLN) (1)
The list below includes only the most common examples of the titles (can be used in Polish or English). If the title of your customer’s payment is not indicated on the below list, your customer should describe shortly the purpose of the payment.
Polish Payment Titles
English translation of Payment Titles
Płatności związane z eksportem i importem towarów
Payment for goods: (here please indicate a kind/a name of the goods)
- transport samochodowy
- transport morski
- transport lotniczy
- transport kolejowy
- transport rzeczny
Transport services: Please indicate if it is:
- car transport
- sea transport
- air transport
- train transport
- river transport
Moreover, the information if it is transport of the goods or passenger transport is needed.
Pozostałe usługi dla przedsiębiorstw
Other business services
Prowizje i opłaty związane z handlem
Trade fees and commissions
Opłaty z tytułu praw i licencji
Pozostałe podatki i opłaty
Other taxes and fees
Dywidendy i wypłacone zyski
Dividends and profits payment
Odsetki od kredytów
Interests on loans
Składki z tyt. ubezpieczeń na życie i emerytalnych
Insurance fees/ policy
Zakup maszyn i urządzeń
Purchase / sales machines and equipments
Zakup / sprzedaż nieruchomości w Polsce
Purchase / sales real estate properties
Zakup / sprzedaż licencji i znaków towarowych
Purchase / sales licences and trade marks
Zakup / sprzedaż akcji lub udziałów przedsiębiorstwa
Purchase / sales company stocks or shares
Domestic payments in foreign currency between companies are subject to a specific permission of the National bank of Poland.
In each case if the amount of the payment exceeds EUR 10 000,00 (or equivalent in other currencies) the debtor is obliged to present the documents confirming the indicated title.
Poland Legal Entity Types - Mainstream
Legal entity types
Spolka akcyjna (SA) – joint-stock company
Spolka z ograniczona (sp. Oz. o.) – limited liability company
Spolka cywilna – civil law partnership
Spolka jawna – general partnership
Spolka komandytowa – limited partnership
Spolzielnia – co-operative
Przedstawicielstwo – branch