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Swiss franc surged

Before the financial crisis gripped Europe, banks heavily marketed loans in Swiss francs, which were available at interest rates 60% lower than loans in Polish zlotys. However, the banks involved did not clearly explain the risks of currency fluctuations to borrowers, and they failed in their responsible lending obligations.

In January 2015, the Swiss franc surged by more than 20% against the euro, which was immediately passed on to the Swiss franc mortgage borrowers. This added up to earlier appreciations of the franc.

The Polish government urged banks to convert franc loans to zloty at market rates, but it has not taken any binding measures so far. Banks want to focus their efforts on the neediest foreign currency loan borrowers, while the financial supervisor is planning to tighten recommendations to persuade banks to voluntarily convert their loans into zloty.