Jacek Bartkiewicz

From the beginning of April 2013, he has been member of the Management Board of Narodowy Bank Polski. From 2002 to 2013 he was the Chairman of the Management Board of the Bank BGŻ (currently BGŻ BNP Pari-bas). Previously, Jacek Bartkiewicz performed various functions, among others, Under Secretary of State in the Ministry of Finance, a Deputy Chairman of the Management Board of Bank Śląski (currently ING Bank Śląski), the Chairman of the Supervisory Board of the War-saw Stock Ex-change, a Deputy Chairman of the Commission for Banking Supervi-sion, a member of the Management Board of the Polish Bank Asso-ciation, a Deputy Chairman of the Insurance and Pension Funds Supervisory Commission.

BGZ: time of intensive changes

Interview: Jacek Bartkiewicz

What contributed to your decision to assume the function of President of the Management Board of BGŻ SA in 2002?

Two things. First, as a Deputy Minister of Finance and Deputy Chairman of the Polish Financial Supervision Authority I was heavily involved in the endeavor to restructure the BGŻ Bank and to find a place for it on the banking market. Second, I considered accepting this function to be a genuine challenge as I was perfectly well aware that this would not be an easy assignment. At the outset, I gave myself two years - either I would restructure and privatize this Bank or I would terminate my mission if I were to see that my actions failed to produce the intended outcome.

Was the Bank s position you inherited at the outset better or worse than you expected? What was the greatest challenge?

Unfortunately, it was worse than I expected. I would remind you that in 2002 the result at the end of the year was PLN 360 million in the red, in other words it reported an enormous loss. It turned out that in its efforts to reorganize its operations the Bank had taken some shortcuts and entered some equity investment niches that were not overly fortuitous. They were concealed by using certain methods to park the portfolio. On top of that, the large exposure portfolio proved to have a multitude of shortcom- ings. Speaking figuratively, the ship was leaking. The first thing that had to be done was to take a quick inventory and undertake steps to remedy the current situation at that time. That entailed the necessity of conducting an audit. That was also the time when the Bank had just completed the pilot program for its new IT system and the decision on rolling it out or not had to be made. That was not an easy decision. The system had been built to address the needs of BGŻ and cooperative banks, meaning that the maintenance and development of that system were a burden on our shoulders. Nor- mally, the costs of systems are spread across many banks. I remember that Deloitte, the auditor at the time, provided me with extensive support. Ultimately, the manage- ment board elected to roll out that system and it was implemented within a year and a half. Prior to that, four transaction systems were in use, so this was a major change. This initial period also posed a great challenge in terms of managers. A large portion of BGŻ s management had been appointed for political reasons, and this did not always go hand in hand with banking acumen. One could say that for the first year and a half

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