Getin Noble Bank Seeks to Cut Funding Costs as It Turns to Loss

  • Polish bank asks regulator for approval of restructuring plan
  • Lender may avoid paying new tax on assets if plan accepted

Getin Noble Bank SA, a Polish lender controlled by billionaire Leszek Czarnecki, plans to reduce its funding costs as part of a restructuring plan after it swung to a loss in the fourth quarter.

The lender, which was offering higher rates for deposits than its competitors to attract clients, now plans to cut the premium it pays to about 60 basis points versus the market’s average, it said in a regulatory statement late on Monday. It also seeks to set up a mortgage bank to provide cheaper financing for its home loans. The new three-year strategy comes as Getin Noble posted a 195.4 million-zloty ($52 million) net loss in the last three months of 2015, compared with 14.4 million zloty of profit a year earlier, it said in a separate filing.

The country’s financial industry, which was last year hit with increased payments to the bankruptcy fund and contributions to a new fund supporting borrowers who are having trouble repaying their loans, is burdened this year with a new tax on assets and a plan to convert foreign-currency mortgages into the zloty.

Such a gloomy outlook made the lender ask for the regulator’s consent to initiate a restructuring plan, a process, which - if approved - exempts banks from a new levy and caps their dividend payouts. Getin Noble, which also plans a reverse split of stock at 3 shares to 1, rose 1.7 percent to 0.59 zloty as of 9:49 a.m. in Warsaw.

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