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PRESS RELEASE

ECB opinion on the draft law amending the law on Narodowy Bank Polski

3 August 2006

The Governing Council of the European Central Bank (ECB) has adopted an opinion (CON/2006/39) at the request of Poland’s National Assembly on the proposed amendments to the Statute of Narodowy Bank Polski (NBP), which relate in particular to changes in the composition of the Banking Supervision Commission, an autonomous banking supervision authority chaired by NBP’s President and supported by NBP’s staff.

In its opinion, the ECB points out the need to ensure the operational independence of the banking supervision authorities, as required by international standards. This would not be possible if the majority of the Banking Supervision Commission’s members were government representatives appointed without safeguards ensuring their technical expertise and autonomy, and if they could be recalled at any point in time.

The ECB further notes the broader provisions for supervisory reform in Poland in the draft law on financial market supervision. The ECB adopted a previous opinion (CON/2005/16) on an earlier version of this draft law. It foresees the establishment of a Financial Supervision Commission to take over the banking supervision responsibilities currently exercised by the Banking Supervision Commission and the NBP.

In this context, the ECB reaffirms its positive assessment of the current institutional model for the prudential supervision of credit institutions in Poland and cautions against modifications of the current arrangements that would not ensure a smooth interaction between the banking supervisor and the NBP. The ECB further recommends amending the NBP’s Statute so that it specifies the NBP’s responsibility for contributing to financial stability through monitoring and assessing the stability of the financial system as a whole.

The opinion is available on the ECB’s website (http://www.ecb.europa.eu).

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