Although BGK is a bank, it is a specific bank because it is a state-owned development bank. In addition to banking law, its activities are also regulated by special laws and legislation. BGK has only one owner – the state.
The law stipulates procedures for dismissal and appointment of members of the Board of Directors, including the Chairman. There is no need to hold a general assembly of shareholders to replace the bank’s powers, and all that is required is the signature of the Prime Minister and the cooperation of several ministers, led by the head of the Ministry of Development.
– We know that the purge in BGK may happen faster, because the procedure is fast and everything will be in the hands of the new Prime Minister – this is what a member of the outgoing PiS government told us.
The new coalition that will soon take power is fully aware of how easily the powers of the state-owned bank can be changed. The list of names for the new president has already begun and includes Mateusz Szczorek, former Finance Minister, and Dominik Radziwicz, former Deputy Finance Minister for Debt Management..
— Many professionals work at BGK, and it is a normal practice to replace the Management Board, the Supervisory Board or some managers. But we will discuss the issue of employees as soon as the government is formed, as one of the politicians from the new team tells us.
A kingdom with many influences
In the current PiS government arrangement, BGK has been in the sphere of influence of Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki. The bank is headed by Beata Daszyńska-Muzyczka, his trusted colleague from their time working together at BZ WBK (currently Santander Bank Polska). She spent more than two decades at this bank, and before Morawiecki left for politics, she was promoted to the board of directors of BZ WBK. The current head of the bank is one of the longest-serving heads of state treasury companies. This December will mark seven years in office. Only another trusted advisor to the Prime Minister, the head of the Polish Development Fund, Pawel Borys, and the head of the Polish Mining Group, Tomasz Rogala, can boast longer experience.
Important roles in the BGK are played by the Ministers of Development, Finance and Regional Development, who are also members of the current Prime Minister.
During the era of the Law and Justice Party, such a division of influence occurred in the bank. Previously, it was only closely linked to the Ministry of Finance and it was the head of this ministry who distributed the cards in this government institution.
The President of the BGK is appointed by the Prime Minister at the request of the Minister responsible for the economy. According to current law, this is the Minister of Development and Technology. All it takes is for the new head of this ministry to approach Donald Tusk for change and Beata Daszynska-Muzyczka will resign from her position.
The Prime Minister also appoints the First Vice-Chairman of BGK (at the request of the Minister of Finance), the Vice-Chairman (from the Minister of Infrastructure) and the members of the Board of Directors (each one is appointed by the Regional Minister of Development, Finance and Development).
On the checklist
BGK is one of the institutions that New Coalition politicians have listed as a priority for scrutiny and accountability. Especially since the role of the State Development Bank has grown significantly in recent years. First of all, during the pandemic, when, at the request of the government, the Bank became the operator of the Covid-19 Countermeasures Fund, and more recently – after the Russian aggression against Ukraine – also of the Armed Forces Support Fund, whose mission and objective is to obtain financing for the modernization of the army and the purchase Weapons.
In all, there are twenty such funds in BGK, and some of them, like the National Road Fund, were launched during the PO-PSL government. However, it was the team that had just taken power that strongly criticized the government of Mateusz Morawiecki for pushing government spending into BGK or Polish Development Fund funds.
The Polish Financial Supervision Authority stands in the way
Since BGK’s activities are also regulated by banking law, To hold two positions on the Board of Directors, approval by the Polish Financial Supervision Authority is also required. It concerns the Chairman and Member of the Risk Management Board. The term of the current supervisory president ends on November 23, but everything indicates that his successor will be appointed by the current prime minister for a period of 5 years without the possibility of shortening it.
Taking into account the current arrangement in the Commission, which decides whether a candidate can serve as President, the majority for at least two years will be held by members appointed by the current government.
In the recent past, there was a candidate who had problems getting approval from the Polish Financial Supervision Authority to take over the position of Chairman of BGK. This is Miroslav Banek, whom Pawel Selmaša, the first Finance Minister of the PiS government, saw in this position.
Doubts about this matter were exacerbated by the supervision that was headed by the then Chairman of the Board of Directors, Andrzej Jakubiak, and the banks were supervised by his deputy, Wojciech Kwasniak. The Polish Financial Supervision Authority found that Panek had no experience working in the banking sector.
In recent years, Rafał Antczak, who ran for the position of head of the Warsaw Stock Exchange, and Pawel Groza, who waited and did not receive the green light to take over as head of PKO BP, could not afford to clash with the Poles. Financial Regulatory Authority, abandoned this effort.
author: Bartek Godoslawski is a journalist at Business Insider Polska
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