European Foundation
for the Improvement of
Living and Working Conditions

The tripartite EU agency providing knowledge to assist
in the development of better social, employment and
work-related policies

EU PolicyWatch

Database of national-level policy measures

Eurofound's EU PolicyWatch collates information on the responses of government and social partners to the COVID-19 crisis, the war in Ukraine, rising inflation, as well as gathering examples of company practices aimed at mitigating the social and economic impacts.

Factsheet for measure PL-2020-12/834 Updated – measures in Poland

Optional credit and mortgage freezes

Możliwość wystąpienia o "wakacje" kredytowe

Country Poland , applies nationwide
Time period Open ended, started on 16 March 2020
Context COVID-19
Type Company practices
Category Measures to prevent social hardship
– Preventing over-indebtedness
Author Jan Czarzasty (Warsaw School of Economics) and Eurofound
Measure added 11 May 2020 (updated 16 August 2021)

Background information

As of May banks associated in the sectoral umbrella organisation, the Union of Polish Banks (Związek Banków Polskich, ZBP) offer their clients with open credit lines and mortgages a opportunity to file for a 'grace period' in paying installements for up to three months. This is the internal decision of the national banking association, which have nothing to do with the public policy measures under debate (as of 11 May).

Komunikat ZBP w sprawie działań pomocowych podejmowanych przez banki w związku z pandemią koronawirusa COVID-19.

Content of measure

Mortgage holders may apply to their respective creditors (banks) for a grace period of up to three months, during which period their monthly payments will be suspended (prolongated). As the measure serves only as a guidelines, each member bank may determine specific conditions of their own. In some banks the suspension/prolongation of payments applies only to capital, in others - extend it also to interest. Some banks stick to the suggested duration of three months, while others extend it to six months. The packages offered by banks are monitored by public authorities in order to prevent 'slipping in' of unfair clauses into the procedures.

Updates

The following updates to this measure have been made after it came into effect.

12 August 2021

Under the Anti-Crisis Shield 4.0, the credit and mortgage freeze for up to three months is facilitated by law. All banks are bound by the regulation and cannot refuse if the applicant proves they lost their job/source of other main source income after 13 March 2020 due to pandemic.

25 June 2021

The District Court in Warsaw ruled certain clauses exercised by banks while coming into agreement to freeze credits denominated in Swiss Francs (CHF) with customers illegal. In particular, the ruling concerned the 'non-contradiction clause' (no contest to the liability to the bank) and) 'balance clause' (no contest to the volume of liability to the bank). Putting the ruling into context, it is important development in the ongoing battle of CHF-denominated credit holders against the banks aiming to eliminate the exchange rate fluctuations as a factor impacting the value of liability.

Use of measure

According to the data released by ZBP, until the end of April some 800,000 applications have been submitted to the banks.

Contents

  • Other topics

Target groups

Workers Businesses Citizens
Does not apply to workers Does not apply to businesses Applies to all citizens

Actors and funding

Actors Funding
Employers' organisations
Companies

Social partners

Social partners' role in designing the measure and form of involvement:

Trade unions Employers' organisations
Role No involvement No involvement
Form Not applicable Not applicable

Social partners' role in the implementation, monitoring and assessment phase:

  • No involvement
  • Main level of involvement: Company level

Involvement

Except for ZBP, no involvement.

Views and reactions

ZBP is formally not employers' organisation, thus it is not a social partner.

Sectors and occupations

    • Economic area Sector (NACE level 2)
      K - Financial And Insurance Activities K64 Financial service activities, except insurance and pension funding

This case is not occupation-specific.

Sources

  • 16 March 2020: ZBP Communication regarding the assitance provided by banks in the context of the COVID 19 pandemics (www.zbp.pl)

Citation

Eurofound (2020), Optional credit and mortgage freezes, measure PL-2020-12/834 (measures in Poland), EU PolicyWatch, Dublin, https://static.eurofound.europa.eu/covid19db/cases/PL-2020-12_834.html

Share

Eurofound publications based on EU PolicyWatch

30 January 2023

 

Measures to lessen the impact of the inflation and energy crisis on citizens

Governments across the EU continue to implement policies to support citizens and businesses in the face of rising food and energy prices caused by the COVID-19 crisis and intensified by the war in Ukraine. As winter approaches, preventing and addressing energy poverty becomes a priority. This article summarises the policy responses as reported in Eurofound’s EU PolicyWatch database from January to September 2022.

Article

12 September 2022

 

First responses to cushion the impact of inflation on citizens

Although the worldwide pandemic situation had already disrupted supply chains and triggered increases in energy and food prices in 2021, the situation deteriorated in 2022 with the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

Article

12 September 2022

 

Policies to support EU companies affected by the war in Ukraine

This article summarises the first policy responses that governments across the EU have started to implement to support companies affected by the rising prices, and those with commercial ties to Ukraine, Russia or Belarus.

5 July 2022

 

Policies to support refugees from Ukraine

This article summarises the first policy responses of EU Member States, including those of the social partners and other civil society actors, enabling refugees to exercise their rights under the Temporary Protection Directive.

Article

Disclaimer: This information has not been subject to the full Eurofound evaluation, editorial and publication process.