The Polish legal system defines the regulatory framework for conducting operations by entities established and operating under the Polish law, and by entities from other countries of the European Economic Area (EEA) operating in Poland as a branch or as part of cross-border activities on the basis of a notification (the so-called passporting) addressed to the KNF.
The national requirements for conducting financial market activities focus primarily on issues such as:
- • the legal form of the business activity,
- • the share capital amount and the provision of adequate funds,
- • the introduction of organisational mechanisms ensuring that a given entity operates in accordance with the law, i.e. in particular risk management, internal control or compliance systems,
- • the requirements relating to education, professional experience or clean criminal record of managers who occupy key positions or have significant ownership interests,
- • the establishment of a programme of activities and a financial plan for the first few years of operation.
Below are examples of requirements for obtaining an operating licence/permit for different financial sector entities. In addition to the requirements indicated below, it may be necessary to comply with other regulatory requirements before starting a business activity, such as presenting the articles of association, the business plan, documents proving the possession of sufficient financial resources to start a business activity or the identification of personal data of managers and persons who hold a significant capital share in the company, either directly or indirectly.
Regardless of the formal conditions indicated above, the KNF verifies, before giving the authorisation/ licence, whether the presented documents and information enable to assume that the applicant company, its managers and shareholders holding a significant financial interest in the company, provide a guarantee of prudent and stable management of that entity. In case of justified doubts in this respect, the KNF may refuse to grant its consent to start business activity, taking into account the interest of its clients and the stability of the whole sector.
However, despite the lack of direct regulatory requirements, due to the protection of potential clients and the security of the financial system, the KNF verifies the credibility not only of the entities applying for the licence, but also of their significant shareholders. Experience in the establishment and operation of other regulated entities in the financial sector will increase the credibility of such shareholders or investors.