AIB of Ireland, the corporate parent of Bank Zachodni WBK, seems to be out of luck. Just as it is negotiating with prospective buyers, the Polish legislature is amending the Banking Law. The raft of amendments to the Banking Law which came into force last Saturday will mean that the Office of Financial Supervision will have to take a very close look at any buyer of BZ WBK. “The oversight authority needs to make absolutely certain that such a buyer will not, for example, transfer Polish assets abroad in order to prop up the head office or branches in other countries”, explains Leszek Koziorowski, equity markets specialist at the GESSEL law firm.

The Office of Financial Supervision will analyse not only the financial situation of the buyer itself, but also the current state of the economy in its home market. This amounts to bad news for the prospective purchaser, Santander of Spain – possibly the last foreign bank to take a serious interest in BZ WBK, seeing as, according to the French press, BNP Paribas has just dropped out of the race, citing what it considers to be an excessively high price.

Magdalena A. Olczak, Dziennik Gazeta Prawna