lending to state-owned agricultural enterprises, individual, cooperative, state-owned and industry-leased farms, state-owned agricultural industry, import and export of agricul- tural produce, and government campaigns pertaining to agriculture. Starting from 1947, the bank s obligations included also handling of the finances of such enterprises. PBR was also forced to sort out its own assets mainly the so-called long-term issue credit and restitution of the assets driven away to the Reich. Especially the last issue turned out extremely difficult due to resistance of international banks, which did not rec- ognize the legality of PBR s activities in the territory of the so-called Lublin Poland. Also the restitution of assets was difficult due to the impossibility to determine the amount of the demands against Germany due to absence of files and ledgers lost during the war. Consequently, they were estimated hypothetically. Another problem was the pre-war debt, inter alia due to its partial repayment during WWII to the bank managed by the Nazis and claiming the title to PBR s receivables. Lack of regulations governing the conduct regarding settlement of liabilities from before 1 September 1939 led do disputes between creditors and debtors in the first years after the war. The Supreme Court ruling in this respect did not contribute to its clarification. Due to absence of a definitive opinion of the state authorities in this matter, case law norms started to develop to regulate the method of conversion of the pre-war and war debt as a multitude of the debt amount. Consequently the problem of debt repayment required intervention, control and quick regulation by the state. The relation of the post-war zloty to the pre-war zloty was an important issue. Mutually exclusive norms for liquidation, revaluation and nominalism could not be tolerated. The state was in favor of the principle of nominalism, even if was perceived as unfair. For the new authorities it was a great pretext to resolve the problem of public debt. Communists, precluding the conversion of the zloty based on revaluation, reduced the real value of pre-war state debt by dozens of times, making it much easier for the state to satisfy its prior liabilities, and the reduction of the state s burden made it possible to raise further debt to finance the reconstruction of the destroyed country and restructuring of the political system. But the principle of nominalism led to enrichment of the debtors, which was perceived as socially unfair and economically unjustified. Therefore an extraordi- nary tax on unfair enrichment of the debtor was introduced if the debt was repaid in its nominal amount.

Financing of agriculture

After WWII the situation of agriculture in Poland was dramatic. Lending activity was to be one of the ways to reconstruct it. Due to the limited capacity of the private money market, banks were the only source of credit. Several credit institutions participated in financing the rural areas and agriculture: PBR, Bank Gospodarstwa Spółdzielczego, Cooperative Credit Unions and Municipal Credit Unions. Unfortunately, in the communist economy, banks could not afford to pursue their own credit policy aligned to the interests of the bank and the borrowers, but had to subordinate themselves to imposed financial plans. Consequently PBR was to serve principally provide financing for the so-called big agri-

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