Bloomberg News

Polish Banks Grant Fewer Mortgages on Swiss Franc Loan Limits

April 17, 2009

Polish banks probably granted fewer mortgages in the first quarter than a year earlier as they limited foreign-currency loans, which accounted for a majority of new home loans in 2008, the Polish Banks Association said.

New mortgages totaled about 7 billion zloty ($2.1 billion) in the first three months of the year, down from 12 billion zloty in the same period a year earlier, Michal Wydra, an association spokesman, said today by phone.

Banks including Bank Millennium SA, a unit of Banco Comercial Portugues SA, KBC Groep NV’s Kredyt Bank SA and ING Bank Slaski SA, stopped making foreign-currency loans after the global credit crisis made it more difficult for them to finance such loans. Foreign-currency loans, mostly in Swiss francs, accounted for 70 percent of mortgages in Poland last year.

The banks association expects lenders to make 40 billion zloty to 50 billion zloty of home loans this year, down from about 57 billion zloty in 2008, Wydra said.

To contact the reporter on this story: Marta Waldoch in Warsaw on mwaldoch@bloomberg.net;

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Willy Morris at manderson34@bloomberg.net; Frank Connelly at fconnelly@bloomberg.net


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