Macro-prudential regulation of credit booms and busts -- the case of Poland
The last several years before the global downturn of 2008-2009 saw rapid credit growth in Poland. The credit-to-gross domestic product ratio rose from about 25 percent in 2004 to close to 50 percent in 2009. Such an expansionitself might potentially be a source of risks to financial stability, but it was also coupled with relatively new phenomena, such as massive foreign currency lending. Thanks to the pro-active attitude of the Polish authorities and sound economic fundamentals, the risks largely have not materialized. Since 2006 the financial supervisor has addressed in its recommendations for banks the problem of foreign exchange lending, which contributed to the high quality of the portfolio. Before the economy slowed down, the Polish Financial Supervisory Authority persuaded banks to accumulate an additional capital buffer that helped protect them from the negative consequences of the downturn. Some regulatory concepts that had been put into place in Poland in the previous years, including quantitative liquidity requirements, are now being implemented globally. The Polish Financial Supervisory Authority participates in international debates on a new regulatory regime for the financial system. The major message the authority intends to convey is that all new regulations must be tailored carefully. Regulators should make an effort to ensure that the benefits of enhanced quality of the capital base or the countercyclical buffer are not compromised by international overregulation that could undermine national authorities'ability to pursue effective country-specific policies.
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