Today’s issue of “Gazeta Wyborcza” reveals shocking facts about the functioning of the Polish Financial Supervision Authority (KNF). Leszek Czarnecki, the majority shareholder of five companies listed on the Warsaw Stock Exchange – Getin Holding, Getin Noble Bank, MW Trade, Open Finance and Idea Bank – decided to share the recordings of one of his visits to the office of Marek Chrzanowski, head of the Polish Financial Supervision Authority.
Marek Chrzanowski, Chairman of the Polish Financial Supervision Authority, offered favor to Getin Noble Bank in exchange for about PLN 40 million – says the bank’s owner, Leszek Czarnecki in “Gazeta Wyborcza”.
Despite the fact that the meeting took place in an office where anti-bug devices were allegedly used, unfortunately, the head of the KNF, Leszek Czarnecki was prepared for such an event and took not one but as many as three recording devices with him. As it turned out later, only one of them worked. It is thanks to him that we can learn that in the 35th minute of the meeting Chrzanowski asked Czarnecki “if he does not feel the need to increase resources of lawyers “.
“You know, I can recommend someone to you. It seems to me that this would be beneficial for the office and for the whole institution,” said the head of the Polish Financial Supervision Authority, who had been in office for over two years, and suggested what kind of salary this lawyer should receive. He wanted it to be linked to the bank’s profit. A lawyer’s business card, recommended by Chrzanowski, landed on his desk. The full transcript of the meeting of Leszek Czarnecki and Marek Chrzanowski is available at the link.
It turns out, however, that the recording does not end with it. One of the richest Poles also submitted a notification to the prosecutor’s office, which may concern not only Marek Chrzanowski, but also Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki and Andrzej Duda’s representative in the Polish Financial Supervision Authority, Zdzisław Sokal:
“Marek Chrzanowski pointed out to Leszek Czarnecki on a piece of paper with an inscription: “When talking about the link between the legal adviser’s remuneration and the bank’s result, Marek Chrzanowski pointed to Leszek Czarnecki on a piece of paper with an inscription: 1 percent. (…) not only indicated the person to be employed by Leszek Czarnecki as part of his expectations to provide legal services to the bank, but he also tried to impose a commission-based method of remuneration for Grzegorz Kowalczyk, grossly excessive in relation to market conditions, as 1 percent of the capitalised value of Geting Noble Bank is about PLN 40 million”.
The recordings transcript which Czarnecki gave to the prosecutor’s office by his proxy, show that Chrzanowski proposed in return: to mitigate the financial effects of increasing the so-called risk rate (it cost the bank about PLN 1 billion), a friendly approach of the KNF and NBP to restructuring plans of Czarnecki’s banks, removal of Zdzisław Sokal, President’s representative in the Commission and Head of the Bank Guarantee Fund, because he is in favour of Czarnecki’s acquisition by the state.
KNF: This is blackmail
Referring to the publication of “Gazeta Wyborcza” of 13 November 2018 entitled – “PLN 40 million and there will be no problems” by Wojciech Czuchnowski and Agnieszka Kublik, the Office of the Polish Financial Supervision Authority stated that it reads Mr. Leszek Czarnecki’s actions described in the article as an attempt to exert influence on the Polish Financial Supervision Authority through blackmail (….) Marek Chrzanowski, Chairman of the Polish Financial Supervision Authority, took legal action in connection with false accusations made by Mr. Czarnecki and in connection with defamation aimed at losing public trust.
The information contained in the publication of “Gazeta Wyborcza”, originating from Mr. Leszek Czarnecki, concerning the President of the Polish Financial Supervision Authority’s offer of favor for Getin Noble Bank in exchange for about PLN 40 million, is untrue – such a proposal was not made during any of the meetings with Mr. Czarnecki.
Prime Minister calls on the carpet
As Michał Dworczyk, the head of the Chancellery of the Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki informed in the morning, he called the head of the KNF to immediate explanations and ordered the prosecutor’s office and the services to immediately collect information about media reports.
– “If the accusations indicated by journalists are confirmed in part or in whole, the consequences of the law will be drawn against those responsible,” assured Joanna Kopcińska, the government spokeswoman on TVN24.