Financial watchdog boss: ‘I trust the professionalism of the KNF’

Headquarters of the Financial Supervisory Authority, Warsaw. Photo: Radek Pietruszka/PAP

The new head of the Polish Financial Supervisory Authority (KNF), is to focus on rebuilding confidence in the body, which has been shaken following his predecessor’s resignation after allegations of corruption were caught on tape.

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The new head of the KNF has started his new role by underlining his trust in the body’s staff. Jacek Jastrzębski, a law professor, was appointed to the role by PM Mateusz Morawiecki, who was keen to have a candidate in place who would be independent of the country’s central bank, the National Bank of Poland (NBP).

Mr Jastrzębski said that legislation strengthening supervision of the financial markets which has just been passed by the Senate, was “the biggest reform of the KNF since it came into being.”

In his view, the new central register for bonds and investment certificates would mean the market could “avoid situations like the Getback affair,” referring to debt collecting company that was suspended from trading in May, unable to service its bond liabilities. Several members of its board and management team are facing fraud charges, with several other figures from the Polish financial world implicated in the scandal. The legislation is awaiting signature by the President.

While the market has no doubts as to Mr Jastrzębski’s credentials, some observers, such as economist Janusz Jankowiak of the Polish Business Council believe the key requirement of the supervisory body has to be its independence from interference.

He told the “Rzeczpospolita” daily that the Prime Minister being directly involved in the choice of the KNF head was therefore not a good sign. Mr Jankowiak, like the head of the National Bank Adam Glapiński, would like to see the central bank in charge of supervision of banks.

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In his view, the new central register for bonds and investment certificates would mean the market could “avoid situations like the Getback affair,” referring to debt collecting company that was suspended from trading in May, unable to service its bond liabilities. Several members of its board and management team are facing fraud charges, with several other figures from the Polish financial world implicated in the scandal. The legislation is awaiting signature by the President.

While the market has no doubts as to Mr Jastrzębski’s credentials, some observers, such as economist Janusz Jankowiak of the Polish Business Council believe the key requirement of the supervisory body has to be its independence from interference.

He told the “Rzeczpospolita” daily that the Prime Minister being directly involved in the choice of the KNF head was therefore not a good sign. Mr Jankowiak, like the head of the National Bank Adam Glapiński, would like to see the central bank in charge of supervision of banks.

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