Mortgage holders protest in Warsaw
PR dla Zagranicy
Swiss-franc mortgage-holders have demonstrated in Warsaw under the slogan “Poland for citizens, not for corporations and banks”.
Mortgage holders protest in Warsaw. Photo: PAP/Jakub Kamiński
The Saturday afternoon protest was staged by the Stop Bankowemu Bezprawiu (Stop Banking Lawlessness) association in the hope that the Polish parliament will consider a draft bill to help holders of Swiss-franc denominated mortgages.
The president of the SBB association, Maciej Pawlicki, an MP candidate of the ruling Law and Justice party in the last general election, underlined that President Andrzej Duda (who hails from the same party) had pledged to make sure that a law which helps holders of Swiss-franc mortgages in Poland is passed within the first three months of his presidency.
The presidential draft, presented in August, which stipulates that banks will have to return wrongly accrued spreads (borrowing fees) to borrowers, has been criticised as unsatisfactory by many mortgage holders.
During the Saturday protest, demonstrators demanded that parliament considers a bill drafted by the opposition Kukiz'15 grouping. Under the draft, banks would have to convert the mortgages as if they had originally been taken out in the Polish currency, the złoty.
A petition by the protesters was handed to senior presidential aide Maciej Łopiński. The document included demands to convert mortgage loans against the rate as of the day of the disbursement.
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.