As at 31 December 2011, the total value of court proceedings in which the PKO Bank Polski SA Group’s entities are a defendant was PLN 428 623 thousand, of which PLN 79 202 thousand refers to court proceedings in Ukraine (as at 31 December 2010 the total value of above mentioned court proceedings was PLN 315 447 thousand), while the total value of court proceedings in which the Group’s entities are the plaintiff was PLN 698 971 thousand, of which PLN 417 673 thousand referred to court proceedings in Ukraine, mainly related to collection of dues from loan agreements granted by KREDOBANK SA, (as at 31 December 2010 the total value of above mentioned court proceedings was PLN 312 731 thousand).
The most significant legal claims of the Group are described below:
a) unfair competition proceedings
The Bank is a party to proceedings initiated on the basis of a decision dated 23 April 2001 of the President of the Competition and Consumer Protection Office (Urząd Ochrony Konkurencji i Konsumentów - UOKiK) upon request of the Polish Trade and Distribution Organisation (Polska Organizacja Handlu i Dystrybucji - Związek Pracodawców) against the operators of the Visa and Europay payment systems and the banks issuing Visa and Europay/Eurocard/Mastercard banking cards. The claims under these proceedings relate to the use of practices limiting competition on the market of banking card payments in Poland, consisting of applying pre-agreed “interchange’ fees for transactions made using Visa and Europay/Eurocard/Mastercard cards as well as limiting access to this market by external entities. On 29 December 2006, UOKiK decided that the practices, consisting of joint establishment of interchange fee, did limit market competition and ordered that any such practices should be discontinued, and imposed a fine on, among others, PKO Bank Polski SA, in the amount of PLN 16 597 thousand. On 20 December 2011 a hearing was held during which no factual resolution of the appeals was reached. The Court obligated MasterCard to submit explanations concerning the issue and set the date for another sitting of the Court for 31 January 2012. The date of the hearing was appointed for 9 February 2012. In connection with the application of the plaintiffs’ attorney, including PKO Bank Polski SA, the court postponed the heating date for 24 April 2012. As at 31 December 2011 and as at 31 December 2010, the Bank had a liability in the above-mentioned amount.
b) legal claims in KREDOBANK SA
KREDOBANK SA is party to a court dispute with its Client who defaulted on a loan. On 31 January 2011 KREDOBANK SA instigated court proceedings against the above-mentioned Client in connection with the commencement of collection of loan dues, as a result of which the Client filed a counter-claim against KREDOBANK SA for annulling the loan agreements and collateral agreements.
The court accepted the client’s claim and determined the loan agreements invalid, in effect the Client is obliged to return to KREDOBANK SA the amount of loan received (UAH 40 860 thousand, i.e. PLN 17 386 thousand at the average NBP rate at the end of 2011), and KREDOBANK SA is obliged to return to the Client the amount of interest received (UAH 4 506.6 thousand, i.e. PLN 1 918 thousand at the average NBP rate at the end of 2011). The amounts due from the Customer were covered in the books of KREDOBANK SA by a 100% impairment allowance. In December 2011, the above-mentioned loan was transferred to Finansowa Kompania ’Prywatne Inwestycje’ Sp. z o.o. and as at 31 December 2011 a 100% impairment allowance was recorded against this impaired loan.
KREDOBANK SA is considering filing a motion for cassation to the Supreme Court of the Ukraine and for sending the case for reconsideration.
At the same time, having obtained a favourable court verdict, on 31 October 2011 the Client filed a claim against KREDOBANK SA for compensation for direct losses, loss of profits and moral losses. The claim is for the amount of UAH 185 million (i.e. PLN 79 million at the average NBP rate at the end of 2011). Court proceedings are pending on the case.
As at 31 December 2011 the Group did not recognise the provision for the above mentioned compensation claim.
c) re-privatisation claims relating to properties held by the Group
As at the date of these financial statements, five administrative proceedings are pending to invalidate decisions issued by public administration authorities with respect to properties held by the Bank and one administrative proceeding concerning a property acquired by the Bank in liquidation process of Centrum Finansowe Puławska Sp. z o.o. – in liquidation. These proceedings, in the event of an unfavourable outcome may result in re-privatisation claims and one administrative proceeding for the establishment of perpetual usufruct right to a property owned by the Bank. Given the current status of these proceedings as regards stating the invalidity of decisions and verdicts of public administration bodies, it is not possible to assess their potential negative financial effects for the Bank. Moreover, with respect to two properties of the Bank claims were submitted by their former owners (court proceedings are pending).
In the opinion of the Management Board of PKO Bank Polski SA, in 2012 the probability of significant claims arising against the Bank in relation to the above mentioned proceedings is remote.