WHY SHOULD CREDIT UNIONS BE DESTROYED?
The Ministry of Finance informed that according to its calculations, the public debt was 840.5 milliard zlotys at the end of last year, but many experts prove that it exceeded over 900 milliard zlotys long time ago. The fact that the debt is much higher is proved by the fact that the government is taking over and selling everything, which has still its value. The national carrier Polish Airlines LOT will have to face up this fate soon, which has been bringing only losses since the year 2008, that is, the moment of taking over the authority by the Civic Platform-Polish People’s Party. Why did it have benefits every year, during the government of the Law and Justice party?
At present also the whole truth about the Open Pension Funds is coming out. It was supposed to be an additional ‘pension of the 2nd pillar’ – as the government was persuading about it. In 2009 when the first payment of the first benefits began, it turned out that approximately they were 56 zlotys per month, and the lowest benefit was only 14 zlotys. It is seen that the Open Pension Funds turn out to be a big deceit but also in this case, the government came into a conclusion that it is worth taking milliards zlotys gained in the Open Pension Funds and transfer them into the Social Insurance Company. Doesn’t it remind of a situation from Cyprus but in a scale bigger a few times?!
It seems to me that meetings of the government of Donald Tusk on Tuesdays start with the question to ministers what else can be sold here or taken over. Credit Unions of Stefczyk are on the target. Attacks are coming both from the Seym and the Commission of Financial Supervision, in order to raise uncertainty among the members of the Credit Unions first, and then aim at taking over the credit unions by private banks. One can only say that according to the binding law about credit unions, the Commission of Financial Supervision took the activity of all Credit Unions under its supervision, although most provisions of the present law raised doubts about compatibility with the Constitution of the Polish Republic. I will remind that the president Lech Kaczyński accused the law to the Constitutional Tribunal, and after his tragic death the president Bronisław Komorowski withdrew the request of his predecessor in 95 percent, for fear of being discredited in the eyes of the parliamentary majority from the Civic Platform Party. The Constitutional Tribunal, examining the rest of the original request of the late Lech Kaczyński, stated the unconstitutionality of passed provisions, but it could not decide about most originally accused enacted provisions towards the actions of the present President of the Polish Republic.
Credit Unions have been functioning since the end of October 2012, on the basis of a new law and every now and then both the Commission of Financial Supervision and the Minister of Finance enact bills about particular rules of accountancy, raising serious doubts about compatibility with the basic law. One of them, of December, was accused by a group of MPs and the General Prosecutor. The case is pending at the Constitutional Tribunal, but before we hear the verdict, Credit Unions, following these regulations, record worse and worse financial results ‘on paper’. They do not result from the crisis or a wrong management, but from the order of a significant increase of their means for insurance of the so-called pre-term credits (not repayable). It, among the others, caused a situation when many Credit Unions, functioning in a resilient way so far, have got into troubles. It is being used by the Commission of Financial Supervision, demanding audits and repair programs, threatening with introducing commissionary managements, and, consequently, aiming at taking over a particular Credit Union by a specified bank.
It is clear for a careful observer that for the wish of the government and also private banks, the present parliamentary majority decided to make the life more difficult for the Credit Unions, in order to decrease their competitiveness on the financial market. For, it is good to know that Credit Unions gained trustfulness of 2.5 million people, who entrusted 14 milliard zlotys of the savings to them, as their members. Credit Unions are functioning where banks often find it unbeneficial to open their branches. They use honest, clear rules in the financial activity, and what is the most important – they were with their members at the times when gaining a loan or credit in a bank by a worker of restructured industry was difficult, and sometimes even impossible.
In a situation of growing poverty and unemployment, Credit Unions are fulfilling the mission of counteracting social exclusion. If they are forced to restrict or stop activity, usury entities will appear in their place, which will contribute to worsening the material situation of inhabitants of our country, by gaining colossal benefits themselves.
The inconsistency of the Ministry of Finance towards the Credit Unions is astonishing. On the one hand – they were given status equally with the banks the Bank Guarantee Fund (they have to pay about 40 million zlotys annually to it), and on the other hand a way is being opened to take over them by banks via the Commission of Financial Supervision. Would the government mean the fact that there would not be any financial institution in Poland, which would operate the Polish capital completely and would belong only to Polish owners, and in this case to the members of Credit Unions? Or maybe Credit Unions should be destroyed and because they are being treated by the government as institutions associated with the parliamentary opposition?