Head of Financial Supervision Authority resigns

The premises of KNF in Warsaw. Photo: PAP/Radek Pietruszka

Marek Chrzanowski, Head of Polish Financial Supervision Authority (KNF) announced his resignation in the aftermath of corruption accusations.

The Polish Press Agency (PAP) informed that Mr Chrzanowski did so “out of responsibility for the proper functioning of the financial supervision system and out of the need to clarify the matter for the country’s interest.”

The information was also confirmed by the KNF spokesman, Jacek Barszczewski.

On Tuesday, Polish billionaire Leszek Czarnecki accused the head of KNF Marek Chrzanowski of soliciting a bribe of around PLN 40 mln (EUR 9.31 mln).

Mr Chrzanowski held a meeting with Leszek Czarnecki, the owner of Getin Noble Bank and Idea Bank in March. During the meeting, Mr Chrzanowski allegedly suggested that the bank should hire a particular lawyer for a one-percent cut of the bank’s financial results.

The appointment would provide “support… and protection” from the watchdog.

“Gazeta Wyborcza” quotes the KNF head asking Czarnecki if he was considering hiring more lawyers. “I can recommend someone. I suppose it would be beneficial for the office [KNF] and the whole institution,” Mr Chrzanowski was quoted as saying in recordings obtained by the daily.

The head of KNF allegedly suggested that if the salary of this lawyer would be dependent on the financial result of the bank, the lawyer would be “much more involved.”

The lawyer who was allegedly offered by the head of KNF, has denied asking Mr Chrzanowski to find him a job. “I do not know how it is possible,” he was quoted by “Gazeta Wyborcza” as saying.

Joanna Kopcińska, the spokeswoman of the government, announced that the Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki required an immediate explanation from Mr Chrzanowski and asked prosecutors and law enforcement to take immediate action to check and explain the revelations of “Gazeta Wyborcza,” concerning the head of KNF.

The PM also asked Mr Chrzanowski – currently abroad – to return to Poland as soon as possible. According to RMF FM, they are about set to meet on Wednesday.

Mr Czarnecki’s lawyer said that he will provide prosecutors with recordings of the conversation as evidence. However, Prosecutor General Zbigniew Ziobro, speaking in the late afternoon told the press that his office did not get the recordings yet.