20.05.2022

Assistance to borrowers and changes in crowdfunding for business ventures

ASSISTANCE FOR LOAN BORROWERS

High inflation that has been persisting over the recent period, the resulting increase in interest rates and rising mortgage instalments, has forced the search for new solutions to help mortgage borrowers.

Consequently, the Government has adopted a bill on crowdfunding for business ventures and assistance to borrowers, which is expected to come into force on 1 July 2022.

The bill aims to assist in the repayment of mortgage loans. The package of solutions envisaged in the bill consists of three pillars:

  • the first pillar assumes the introduction of the so-called “repayment holidays”. It means is that it will be possible to suspend loan repayments for 8 months for all mortgage borrowers who have loans in Polish currency (PLN) and whose real estate is used for their own housing needs. Borrowers will be able to use them in any two months of the third and fourth quarters of the current year and in one month in each quarter of 2023. The repayment holidays will apply to both the principal amount in the instalment and the interest. Additionally, the deadline for repayment of the instalment will be postponed without incurring any additional interest;
  • the second pillar of assistance provides for the possibility of subsidising loans for people who are in a difficult financial situation. Hence, the government intends to transfer additional funds to the Borrowers’ Support Fund. As a result, the Fund’s budget will be increased and it will be possible to offer support to more mortgage borrowers than before.

The bill provides that the maximum amount of support will e PLN 2,000, and can be paid out for up to 36 months – which gives a total of PLN 72,000 of aid.

In turn, the repayment of this loan will begin after two years in equal and interest-free 144 instalments.  What is more, a part of the granted support may be cancelled provided that the first 100 instalments are paid on time.

To receive the support set out in this pillar, one of the following conditions will have to be met:

  1. at least one of the borrowers must have the status of the unemployed;
  2. monthly mortgage repayment costs must exceed 50 percent of monthly income;
  3. in 2022, the monthly income after deduction of mortgage costs shall not exceed PLN 1552 per person in a one-person household and PLN 1200 per person in multi-person households;
  • in turn, the third pillar assumes the replacement of the WIBOR index (i.e. the index which translates into higher loan instalments) with another index which will allow for lowering loan instalments.

 

CROWDFUNDING PLATFORMS

Furthermore, the bill also adjusts Polish law to EU regulations on crowdfunding for business ventures, i.e. it will regulate the activity of shares based crowdfunding platforms. The activities of crowdfunding platforms will be supervised by the Polish Financial Supervision Authority.  The Authority will have special supervisory powers, e.g. it will be able to suspend specific crowdfunding offers or suspend the providers’ activity. It will also introduce civil and criminal liability regarding the accuracy and truthfulness of information provided in informational documents drawn up in connection with the crowdfunding offer.

The new solutions will be beneficial primarily to small and medium-sized enterprises, which will be able to receive access to optional financing. For them, the limits will be raised, which will allow them to obtain higher capital.

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