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Restructuring and Development of the Banking Sector in Poland. Lessons to be Learnt by Less Advanced Transition Countries


  • Ewa Balcerowicz
  • Andrzej Bratkowski


The banking sector in transition economies deserves a special attention of policy makers and the public. The first reason for this attention is that financial intermediation plays a special role in an economy: it channels financial savings of enterprises and households into investments. There is no economic growth in a country if this function is not executed in an effective and efficient way, and if the financial sector is not credible. Therefore reestablishment of a sound banking sector has been crucially important for transition countries. The second general reason is that banks are enterprises of a unique character due to the fact that their performance is important not only to shareholders, as it is the case for enterprises in all other economic sectors, but also to depositors. For that reason the public trust is essential for banking. While its creation is a long and comprehensive process, it is very easy to destroy it. The third reason, specific for transition economies, is connected with the very bad starting point. Under the communism allocation of funds by banks was carried out by outside orders and not by inside business decisions based on profitability and risk assessment. Therefore, at the start up of transition, in the sector of then state-owned banks there was neither know-how and business culture nor internal governance structures relevant for market economies. At the same time the banking sector was the terrain where the biggest change of culture and behavior was necessary in order to build its credibility. This fact made the task difficult and complex. The forth reason is that development of the banking sector in transition economies depends on both macroeconomic policy and microeconomic restructuring of enterprises. That is why it cannot be analyzed in isolation.

Suggested Citation

  • Ewa Balcerowicz & Andrzej Bratkowski, 2001. "Restructuring and Development of the Banking Sector in Poland. Lessons to be Learnt by Less Advanced Transition Countries," CASE Network Reports 0044, CASE-Center for Social and Economic Research.
  • Handle: RePEc:sec:cnrepo:0044

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    Cited by:

    1. Pawlikowski, Adam & Serwa, Dobromil, 2007. "Koszty restrukturyzacji sektora bankowego w Polsce," MPRA Paper 24080, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    2. Daniel Stavarek, 2005. "Efficiency of Banks in Regions at Different Stage of European Integration Process," Finance 0502020, EconWPA.
    3. Havrylchyk, Olena, 2006. "Efficiency of the Polish banking industry: Foreign versus domestic banks," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 30(7), pages 1975-1996, July.
    4. Wojciech Grabowski & Krzysztof Szczygielski, 2012. "Innovation Strategies and Productivity in the Polish Services Sector in the light of CIS 2008," CASE Network Studies and Analyses 0448, CASE-Center for Social and Economic Research.
    5. Miroslav Kollár & Luboš Komárek, 2009. "Možnosti řešení problematických aktiv komerčních bank
      [Selective Approaches and Experiences with Problematic Assets in Banking Sector]
      ," Politická ekonomie, University of Economics, Prague, vol. 2009(5), pages 601-621.
    6. Krzysztof Szczygielski & Wojciech Grabowski, 2014. "Innovation strategies and productivity in the Polish services sector," Post-Communist Economies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 26(1), pages 17-38, March.
    7. Havrylchyk, Olena, 2004. "Consolidation of the Polish banking sector: consequences for the banking institutions and the public," Economic Systems, Elsevier, vol. 28(2), pages 125-140, June.
    8. Catarina Figueira & Joseph G. Nellis & David Parker, 2007. "Challenges Facing the Polish Banking Industry: A Comparative Study with UK Banks," Managing Global Transitions, University of Primorska, Faculty of Management Koper, vol. 5(1), pages 25-44.
    9. Daniel Stavarek, 2003. "Banking Efficiency in Visegrad Countries Before Joining the European Union," Finance 0312010, EconWPA.


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