WARSAW, Sept 4 (Reuters) - A draft law to deal with the issue of Swiss franc home loans in Poland may not be implemented as the ruling Civic Platform party may send it back to parliament which may not have time to approve it before national elections in October, Gazeta Wyborcza daily said, quoting unnamed sources.
More than half a million Poles took out home loans in Swiss francs, mostly between 2007 and 2008, hoping to benefit from low interest rates. Since then, the franc has risen by more than 80 percent against the zloty, trapping owners in homes whose value is well below the zloty market price.
The law, which deals with the conversion of Swiss franc denominated mortgages, is due to be discussed on Friday by the upper chamber of parliament. Then the draft law should then come back to the lower house for further discussion and voting.
The draft law assumes that banks will pay half of the cost of the currency conversion or around 10 billion zlotys ($2.64 billion). The cost to banks may rise to 22 billion zlotys if the parliament changes the law in line with earlier plans.
Foreign investors in Polish banks, that own 60 percent of the sector, have said they might seek international arbitration against Poland if the draft law is implemented in the most costly version. The Polish central bank has expressed concerns about the imapct of the bill on the banks.
Krystyna Skowronska, head of the parliamentary finance panel and author of the original version of the draft bill, said on Friday that the bill may take a lot more work.
She did not comment on the Gazeta Wyborcza’s view that it might be never implemented.
“We want to conduct a very in-depth discussion in the lower chamber of the parliament ... It is hard to say when the discussion will be finalised,” she told Reuters. ($1 = 3.7911 zlotys) (Reporting by Pawel Sobczak; Writing by Marcin Goclowski. Editing by Jane Merriman)