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Polish court starts forex loans hearing after threat prompts evacuation

General view of Supreme Court in Warsaw, Poland September 13, 2018. REUTERS/Kacper Pempel

Poland’s Supreme Court started a highly anticipated hearing on foreign currency loans on Tuesday after a delay caused by bomb threats which prompted the evacuation of the court and other state institutions.

Thousands of Polish borrowers took out mortgages in Swiss francs more than a decade ago to take advantage of low Swiss interest rates only to face higher costs when the zloty slumped. Many have decided to take the banks to court.

The court hearing may set out how courts should treat key issues in foreign exchange loan cases, such as whether banks can charge interest on a loan with a clause deemed to be abusive and when the period in which banks can claim the reimbursement of money begins.

Bank Millennium (MILP.WA), the Polish unit of Portugal’s BCP (BCP.LS), said it saw no need to raise capital to cover potential settlements over Swiss franc loans.

Separately, the CEO of state-run lender PKO BP (PKO.WA) unexpectedly resigned ahead of the hearing.

State-run news channel TVP Info reported on its website that around 40 locations in Warsaw had been evacuated following Tuesday’s bomb threats.

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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