well as special-purpose loans. On the other hand, SOP extended working capital loans for any and all economic needs which were adequately justified, including contractor s work; investment loans for ongoing renovations and small construction projects, purchases of small agricultural machinery and tools, purchase of cattle, setting up orchards, fish ponds, apiaries and other farming purposes62.

Savings and loan cooperatives

The process of rebuilding the self-government of savings and loan cooperatives began in 1954. However, significant changes in Polish loan cooperatives occurred at the time of the October 1956 Thaw and the new agricultural policy that followed. That moment of time saw stabilization of the private sector in rural areas and in the cities. It also became nec- essary to release NBP from its duty of direct lending to the private sector of economy. This created favorable conditions for development of private agricultural production and the revival of craftsmanship, and created an opportunity for expansion of loan cooperatives63. August 1957 witnessed the establishment of the Savings and Loan Cooperatives Asso- ciation (Związek Spółdzielni Oszczędnościowo Pożyczkowych) which along with its province branches brought together the loan cooperatives from the entire Poland, rep- resented their interests, coordinated and directed their activities, served as their instruc- tional and control authority, and provided ideology. In 1958, cooperative savings banks were transformed into savings and loan cooperatives of agricultural type (universal) and city type (craftsmanship, in larger cities) with branches and cash collection outlets. Until 1 September 1959, Bank Rolny served as financial headquarters. On the other hand, gen- eral supervision over the banking and lending operations of savings and loan cooperatives (SOP) was exercised by the Minister of Finance. The governing bodies of the Savings and Loan Cooperatives Association and the savings and loan cooperatives began their opera- tions at the beginning of 1958 and ended their activities on 30 June 1975.64 In 1958, the Savings and Loan Cooperatives Association received the right to indepen- dently determine its own lending policy in detail. Moreover, in 1957 1964, in addition to distribution of loans upon commission of the state, SOP had the right to carry out their own independent lending activity based on financial self-assistance funds65. Several lending cooperatives took advantage of the new statutory rights (which were partly amended in that regard in 1960 and 1962) and adopted traditional name of People s Bank (Bank Ludowy) or Stefczyk s Bank (Kasa Stefczyka). New organization of lending cooperatives followed up on the traditional principles of the Polish cooperative banking movement. The Second Polish Republic (1918-1939) witnessed the emergence of the following main types of lending cooperatives: savings and loan cooperatives which

62. Ibidem, 38, 38 verso.

63. Banking Cooperatives (Spółdzielczość bankowa), J. Ozdowski (ed.), Warsaw 1990, p. 68.

64. Ibidem, pp. 69-70.

65. Ibidem, p. 71.

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