ment. It was important for the government to create conditions for integrated impact on individual food economy sector entities, inter alia through financial stimulation. In connection with liquidation of the counties (powiats), it was necessary to establish bank branches on the municipality (gmina) level with an extended scope of activities. A deci- sion was made to go ahead with the existing solution. The extensive network of coopera- tive bank branches was used, significantly supporting the development of their banking activity. Concerns were raised by the excessive integration of cooperative banks with the state banking system. Such a solution was accounted for by the then authorities by the necessity of dynamic and uniform management of the banking system appointed to provide financial and credit services to the food economy and the need of integrated management of the financial policy in this respect73.

At the time of establishment, after CZSOP, BGŻ became the central cooperative and audit association and, after Bank Rolny, a central organizational and financial head office for cooperative banks. This subordination of cooperative banks to BGŻ impacted the scope of their independence. The cooperative sector was to handle the task of providing financial and credit services to the whole agriculture and agricultural and food industry, and other segments of food economy, as well as craft, private industry and trade. The powers were divided as follows: BGŻ was responsible for servicing legal persons, and cooperative banks for natural persons74.

Cooperative banking constituted an important element of integration of food economy. Thanks to lending to industry, the demand for agricultural produce increased, sales were easier and agricultural production specialized further.

Bank s organization

Bank Rolny s network comprising 309 entities (Head Office, 17 voivodship branches and 291 county branches) and 18 units from former CZSOP (Head Office and 17 voivodship branches) was replaced in the second half of 1975 by the new BGŻ organization, com- prising the Head Office and 95 field units (49 voivodship branches and 46 field credit sub-branches)75. The functions of the bank s voivodship branches changed - these administrative units were transformed into branches responsible directly for financing, lending and control of the business activity of enterprises, conglomerates and cooperatives covered by the financial and credit services for agriculture, agricultural and food industry and forestry. As part of the new organization of the BGŻ Head Office, specialist departments were appointed for service of social economy entities and cooperative banks, and departments

73. Ibidem.

74. Ibidem.

75. Ibidem.

WIDOK Z ZEWNĄTRZ NA DAWNĄ REGIONALNĄ SIEDZIBĘ BANKU BGŻ

PRZY ULICY PIOTRKOWSKIEJ W ŁODZI

EXTERNAL VIEW OF THE FORMER REGIONAL HEAD-OFFICE OF BGZ

IN LODZ, UL. PIOTROWSKA.

138 T H E H I S T O R Y O F B G Z