Impact on the social environment

Annual report

The Bank’s and the Bank Group’s impact on the social environment is exerted by many channels, through

  • the products offered and initiatives on the financial market;
  • a special approach to the disabled;
  • making it easier for customers to use the Group’s products;
  • impact on local communities;
  • involvement in pro-social activity.

The PKO Bank Polski SA Group finances the housing need of Poles

  • In 2018, PKO Bank Polski SA and PKO Bank Hipoteczny SA granted private individuals housing loans of PLN 15.1 billion (28.9% share of new sales of mortgage loans in 2018).
  • The Bank has been participating in an initiative supporting the satisfaction of the housing needs of Poles since 2014 – the “Mieszkanie dla Młodych” [Housing for the Young] programme. The program enabled Customers to obtain co-financing for the owner’s contribution and support in the form of repayment of a part of the loan from the state budget. In 2018, the Bank granted 4,800 loans in the MdM programme amounting to PLN 0.3 billion. On 4 January 2018, Bank Gospodarstwa Krajowego finished accepting the final pool of applications for co-financing the purchase of apartments. Officially, the government programme expired as of the end of 2018.
  • PKO Bank Polski SA has been involved in a nationwide initiative supporting large families since 2014.
    The Bank introduced a special offer to holders of a Large Family Card, under which it reduced the commission on the Własny Kąt Hipoteczny [My Own Place Mortgage] housing loan by half.

PKO Bank Polski SA supports borrowers with a mortgage loan

  • PKO Bank Polski SA treats responsibility for its business as an integral part of its business strategy. It supports Customers whenever they have problems with the punctual repayment of their liabilities. In such situations, the Bank adjusts its actions to the Customer’s situation. In 2018, the Bank supported borrowers having CHF mortgage loans and offered conveniences to them in order to mitigate the negative effects of the change in this currency’s exchange rate.

The PKO Bank Polski SA Group supports the development of public sector entities

  • For many years, the Bank Polski SA Group and especially PKO Bank Polski SA and PKO Leasing SA, has been actively involved in working with public sector entities. This cooperation also includes loan support of their activities, for instance, with regard to the expansion and renovation of schools, hospitals, road projects and environmental protection. As at the end of 2018, loans to the sectors O, Q, R (table below) represented in total 7.6% of the loan portfolio for the corporate and public sectors. In the Bank’s Group, the share was 7.2%. The decrease in the share for section O resulted from the reduced scale of financing the Social Insurance Fund in connection with its improved financial standing.

The share in the loan portfolio for business and public entities by the selected sections of the Polish NACE codes.

Group of which: BANK
Section on the Polish NACE codes 2018 2017 2018 2017
O. Public administration and national defence, mandatory social security, including LAUs 5.3% 7.2% 6.0% 8.2%
Q. Healthcare and social welfare 1.4% 1.3% 1.1% 1.1%
R. Cultural, entertaintment and recreational activities 0.5% 0.5% 0.5% 0.5%
Sections O, Q, R in total 7.2% 9.0% 7.6% 9.8%

PKO Bank Polski SA improves the opportunities for youth education

  • PKO Bank Polski SA increases the opportunity to educate young people, offering student and doctoral student preferential loans with low interest rates. The Bank allows for the forgiveness of a part of the loan for the best graduates. At the end of 2018, the value of preferential student loans was PLN 822mn.

The PKO Bank Polski SA Group supports the development of firms and enterprises and people starting their own businesses

The Bank’s Group provides financing for the current and investment needs of firms and enterprises, through a large and flexible product offering.

  • The Bank has been providing support to enterprises in the form of BGK de minimisguarantees since 2013. At the end of 2018, the Bank was the largest lender among the banks granting loans with de minimisguarantees (the market share in sales of de minimisguarantees was 20%).
  • In February 2016, the Bank began to grant loans based on an agreement concluded in October 2015 with BGK on a portfolio guarantee line with a counter-guarantee granted by the European Investment Fund under the COSME programme (PLG COSME). The value of loans granted under the “Portfelowa Linia Gwarancyjna COSME” [COSME Portfolio Guarantee Line] at the end of 2018 was PLN 332.8mn.
  • In 2018, the Bank supported firms and enterprises by organizing free trainings, sharing knowledge and tools supporting their operations. Three editions of the trainings were conducted: “Firma w ekspansji” [Firm’s Expansion], “Siła marki w MŚP” [Brand Strength in SME] and “Dzień Dobry Biznes” [Good Morning Business].
  • Since December 2017, the Bank has been enabling entities starting business to take out a Pożyczka na StartLoan, which has features that are particularly appreciated by young entrepreneurs: ease and speed of obtaining funds, flexibility of the product in repayment and the method of spending – entrepreneurs can use it for any purpose related to their business, independently deciding on the form of repayment and, during the term of the agreement, they can benefit from, inter alia, a suspension of the loan repayments for one month each year.
  • The Bank’s subsidiary, PKO Leasing, has also launched facilitations for young entrepreneurs, offering customers Leasing na Start[Lease for the Start]. It enables them to obtain financing of up to PLN 120k on a new and used vehicle or delivery vehicle of up to 3.5t, and up to PLN 500k on vehicles, machinery and equipment. The use of leasing without an initial fee is available to companies operating for 3 months.
  • In 2017, the Bank was the first Polish financial institution to invest in a fintech start-up ZenCard sp. z o.o. Thanks to the transaction, in 2018, PKO Bank Polski SA offered an innovative tool to its corporate customers for creating loyalty programmes, which enables entrepreneurs to organize promotion and rebate campaigns only using a payment card and a payment terminal.
  • The Bank enabled those entrepreneurs who so far were not accepting non-cash payments to join the Polska Bezgotówkowa [Cashless Poland] Programme in its branches. Under the programme, the entrepreneurs will be able, among other things, to obtain cover of the costs of the terminal within 12 months.
  • As part of supporting entrepreneurs in their daily business, in 2018 the Bank introduced the functions of the “Firm’s Assistant” and “E-shop”. The “Firm’s Assistant” is linked to the firm’s account and enables ongoing control over costs and income, as well as managing the calendar and contacts. “E-shop” enables the Bank’s Customers to open an online shop on their own, directly from the iPKO banking level and from there monitoring current information related to running an online shop.

PKO Bank Polski SA supports the development of innovativeness of Polish economy and is the leader of innovation in the financial sector

  • PKO Bank Polski SA is open to cooperation with young, innovative companies. PKO Bank Polski SA is open to cooperation with young, innovative companies. It was an initiator and partner of programmes such as MIT Enterprise Forum Poland, Bridge to Mass Challenge Warsaw, The Heart Warsaw and ScaleUP (implemented by the Ministry of Development).
  • PKO Bank Polski SA made use of its experience in the FinTech sector to develop its own comprehensive ecosystem for supporting promising technological firms. Since 2018, the Bank has conducted an acceleration programme addressed to startups “Let’s fintech with PKO Bank Polski” as part of which it is looking for solutions in the fintech sector, ready to carry out internal and manufacturing pilot programmes and to scale up the firm in partnership with the Bank. It provides participants with mentoring and technical support in the form of test environments, which is a unique opportunity to verify the ideas presented and assess the value for Customers.
  • The Bank carried out the largest implementation of blockchain technology in Europe: in September 2018, over 5 million of the Bank’s Customers for the first time received product rules and regulations in a digital technology using blockchain. Thanks to this technology, the Customers have a system at their disposal which thanks to the advanced mathematics and cryptographic techniques enables checking the validity and authenticity of a document received.
  • Digitization is one of the trends in the technological revolution currently taking place, which affects the competitiveness of the economy, inter alia, through the development of firms and enterprises. Grounding digital services in a modern and local infrastructure increases safety and reduces costs of digitization for business and administration. For this reason, in 2018, the Bank and Polski Fundusz Rozwoju SA (PFR) initiated the formation of a technological company – an operator of the national cloud computing. The entity will provide IT services to public administration and entrepreneurs. It will also offer services of data storage and processing, provision of IT infrastructure, provision of business applications operating in the cloud and support in digital transformation processes.
  • PKO Bank Polski SA meets the expectations of customers related to changes taking place in the external environment, including the digitization of social life. An example of an innovative solution is the IKO application on the basis of which the Blik mobile payments system was created. The cooperation between the Bank and other banks in Poland has meant that Blik has become a market standard for mobile payments in Poland, appreciated by specialists from around the world and popular among the Customers.
  • As a leader in modern banking, the Bank is constantly developing the iPKO electronic website as well as the functionality of the IKO mobile application, which is becoming increasingly popular – over 3 million users used it in 2018.
  • In 2018, the Bank formed an investment fund PKO VC, which invests in technological financial innovations.

PKO Bank Polski SA counteracts financial exclusion

  • The Bank has the largest network of branches and agencies of the banks in Poland (1155 branches and 577 agencies at the end of 2018). The coverage of the Bank’s distribution network also enables access to banking services to people living in towns where the Bank’s main competitors do not have branches. Electronic banking is an important supplement to the distribution network of banking products and services.
  • The Contact Centre is of particular importance in servicing the segment of retail Customers, whose objective is not only to provide Customers with banking products and services, but also to increase the security of transactions ordered by the Bank’s Customers.
  • A very important element in counteracting financial exclusion is the support of disabled customers, which is discussed separately in sub-chapter 11.4.6.

The PKO Bank Polski SA Group implements long-term saving initiatives

Since the beginning of its existence, PKO Bank Polski SA has been teaching Poles how to save. In 2018, the Bank effectively responded to the needs of customers looking for valuable capital investment options, including:

  • it enabled retail and private banking Customers to invest money in investment funds within the cooperation with PKO Towarzystwo Funduszy Inwestycyjnych SA;
  • it is the only bank in Poland which has enabled Customers to invest in treasury bonds, including long-term treasuries. There is an offer of ROD and ROS bonds for the beneficiaries of the 500+ programme available in more than 1000 locations, i.e. in the network of Customer service points of the Bank’s Brokerage House and the network of brokerage service points located in the Bank’s branches.

PKO Bank Polski SA is a pioneer in providing public administration services

  • The Bank participates in the “Od papierowej do cyfrowej Polski” [From a paper to a digital Poland] programme, which is a part of the government’s Responsible Development Strategy. The first project within the framework of the cooperation involved enabling Customers to submit applications for the 500+ benefit from the level of the Bank’s websites; the next project was based on enabling logging in to the ZUS Electronic Services Platform (PUE ZUS) via this route.
  • In 2016, the Bank was the first bank in Poland that enabled its Customers to set up a Trusted Profile (eGO) via online banking. This was a breakthrough in the dissemination of e-administration services, by making it easier for citizens and firms to use the services of government offices via the Internet.
  • The Bank introduced another service into its offering at the beginning of 2018, this time for entrepreneurs who are able to register their firms in CEIDG (the Central Records and Information on Business Activity) through the transaction site.

PKO Bank Polski SA educates and builds consumer awareness

  • The Bank conducts consistent and multi-level financial education addressed to various Customer groups. Its main goal is to reduce financial exclusion, build consumer awareness and act in the field of cyber security.
  • The Bank educates Customers by showing them the capabilities and functions of modern products, giving them access to practical economic knowledge and providing tools facilitating the management of personal and company budgets.
  • An important role in the Bank’s financial education is played by publishing houses and the generally accessible portal.
  • The bank has a modern offering of bank accounts. In joining the government’s 500+ programme, the Bank enabled the programme’s beneficiaries to open a Konto za Zero Rodzina 500+[Account for Nothing 500+ Programme] account.
  • The continuation of children’s education by the Bank is of major public significance. Its objective is to teach good habits in the area of saving, budget management and the use of banking services. The Bank offers educational products for children aged under 13 and their parents through the PKO Junior offering. The PKO Junior offering includes: PKO Konto Dziecka[PKO Child’s Account], ROR Rodzica[Parent’s Savings and Settlements Account], Pierwsze Konto Oszczędnościowe[First Savings Account] and the and sites. At the end of 2018, there were 332 000 PKO Konto Dziecka accounts. The “Brawo Bank” [Bravo Bank] economic guide for children plays an important role in education. The children’s magazine is available in paper, electronic, mobile and AR (“Augmented Reality”) versions.
  • The Bank takes care of the financial education of pupils as part of the Szkolne Kasy Oszczędnościowe[School Savings Accounts] programme. This is the oldest, largest and most modern financial education programme for pupils in Poland. The SKO offering includes, SKO Konto dla Ucznia[SKO Pupil’s Account] and a platform for school pupils from the SKO: At the end of 2018, there were 146k SKO Konto dla Ucznia accounts.
  • Pupils who turned 18 and students till the age of 25 – who have a valid school or student ID on the date of opening an investment account with Internet access, will be granted reduced rates for maintaining the account and reduced commission on purchase or sale instructions in respect of financial instruments listed on the WSE, submitted through the Internet system (including the mobile service), inter alia, free-of-charge maintenance of the investment account for each year until the year in which they turn 25 (inclusively).
  • Technological progress and the digitization of banking services mean that cyber security not only applies to large companies, but also to individual Customers. The Bank regularly warns its Customers about online threats and handles extensive educational activities in this area. One of the objectives of the activities is to popularize knowledge about the principles of security in electronic and mobile banking, as well as the use of payment cards.
  • The Bank was also the first in Poland to start working with the Police to prevent the so-called “grandchild” scams.

PKO Bank Polski supports sensitive groups

  • On 5 November 2018, the campaign “Pomaganie przez zbliżanie” [Helping by drawing near] was launched in the Internet.Together with PKO Bank Polski SA, the Customers helped young people from children’s homes who were entering adulthood – with each pay pass payment using the telephone the Bank transferred 50 grosz to the PKO Bank Polski Foundation.

PKO Bank Polski actively increases the availability of its services to Customers with special needs. It also initiates and jointly creates activities of other entities of the Polish financial sector intended to counteract exclusion from access to financial services.

The Bank is continuously improving the standard of Customer service, including for disabled Customers. The Bank’s policy here has been defined separately for the Bank and the Group’s entities. The main areas of the Bank’s activities encompassed by the policy with respect to the disabled are:


1) The choice of location and the adaptation of the arrangement of the branches

The Group’s branches satisfy all the norms specified in the regulations regarding the adaptation of buildings to the needs of the disabled. Additionally, the principles of choosing locations and ensuring an arrangement of the Bank’s branches which is friendly for the disabled are set out in the internal regulations. The most important of these are:

  • location along a main pedestrian route;
  • availability of parking spaces;
  • access for disabled people.

By the end of 2018, 714 branches had been adapted to the needs of the disabled in accordance with the Bank’s internal regulations, which is 66% of the total number, while parking spaces designated for the disabled were marked at 333 branches (31%)*.

2) Standard of fittings at the Bank’s outlets and ground infrastructure

New Format of Branches

A standard of the New Format of Branches (NFB) was introduced in 2018, in which solutions and technologies were used to help serve Customers at the branch, develop self-service channels and digitize sales processes. The NFB will also encompass the Bank’s agencies. This format takes into account the recommendations of the Integration Foundation, which audited the available space for Customers on contract to the Bank. The conclusions from the audit, including those regarding disabled people, are taken into account at new sites for branches, as well as branches being relocated and modernized.

Dedicated rooms in the branches

The Bank also provides a possibility of individual service adapted to the type and degree of a Customer’s disability and if required, offers services in a dedicated, comfortable and safe room.

Support of the hard of hearing and the deaf

The Bank is also constantly raising the standard of service of the deaf and the hard of hearing using the Polish Sign Language. In 2018, arrangements were completed concerning implementing mass support of the deaf in all of the Bank’s branches. A pilot programme has been carried out in this scope and works initiated in connection with the communication at the Customer-Bank level. Apart from the traditional form, the communication will also comprise remote channels and perform the educational function by ensuring access to information materials on the basic financial products.

As part of the initiative planned for 2019, the deaf persons who are the Bank’s Customers will receive an application supporting the use of the Bank’s services using the sign language through which they can communicate with the adviser in the Bank’s outlets without incurring any cost. The advisers will be trained on the use of the tool and contact with persons hard of hearing, and the Customers using the application will be able to rate the tool based on their experience.

From 2019, the Bank is also participating in a joint initiative of the Polish banking circles realized by the Polish Bank Association with the support from the Polish Association of the Deaf on updating and expanding the generally available glossary of terms of banking products and services in the Polish Sign Language.

Support of the blind and visually impaired

The Bank also makes it easier for blind and visually impaired Customers to use financial services – the number of ATMs equipped with a panel equipped with a Braille alphabet and an audio module is steadily increasing. At the end of 2018, of 3270 ATMs, 2031 (62%) were equipped with audio modules. Information on the location of such devices can be found on the Bank’s website and in the Dostępny Bankomat [Available ATM] service.

Available ATM

The purpose of the “Available ATM” project is to counteract social and digital exclusion by removing limitations and increasing access to financial services to persons with various needs. In 2018, the Bank, in cooperation with the Polish Bank Association and Fundacja Widzialni [The “Visible” Foundation] participated in the project the purpose of which was to launch a web site and a mobile application showing the location of ATMs of selected Banks and informing about conveniences for the handicapped in the individual devices.

Fingerprint signature

The Bank has made it possible for people, who are unable to sign documents on their own because of their degree of disability, to take advantage of a fingerprint option.

Electronic Authorization by a Text Message

In 2018, the Bank implemented a system of Electronic Authorization by a Text Message in the entire network of the Bank’s branches, which enables authorizations of the declarations of will without a hand signature, by typing a code sent by the Bank in the form of a text message.

3) Facilitations in modern banking

The IKO application, telephone service and electronic banking have been designed and are developed with account taken of the needs of the disabled.

* The decline in the numer of branches adapted to the needs of the disabled compared with the previous year results from the decrease in the general numer of branches.

The following conveniences were introduced in 2018:

  • the Bank continued to equip branches with self-service stations, which all individual and business Customers who have cards attached to the bank account are able to use.The Bank is planning to gradually fit them in further branches and expand the scope of their functionality;
  • the speed and convenience of service continued to improve; this objective was achieved, among others, through the initiative of reducing the number of paper documents in customer service processes;
  • the number of child-friendly branches of the Bank was increased where adults – during visits to the branch – are able to leave their children in specially arranged play corners; At the end of 2018, as many as 77% of branches had an area dedicated to children. The interest shown in such a solution means that this percentage will be increased.
  • Polish companies present on the German and Czech markets can count on direct support through foreign branches of the Bank – in Frankfurt am Main and Prague. Banking services are offered by KREDOBANK SA, a member of the Group, to businesses operating in Ukraine.

Since 2017, the Bank’s representatives have actively participated as experts in reviewing the drafted version of the EU Directive “European Accessibility Act” which specifies the accessibility requirements for the service sector on the territory of the EU, also including the financial sector. In the fourth quarter of 2018, the Bank’s employees served as experts during community consultations on the Polish horizontal “Accessibility Act” prepared as part of the government project “Accessibility plus”. In both cases, the activities were executed in cooperation with the Polish Bank Association coordinating cooperation of the financial sector entities with government institutions responsible for legislative activity.

The Bank’s Group entities, including the Bank, affect the local communities in which they operate through several channels:

Impact on the local labour market and income of the population

The Bank’s Group is an important employer because it creates jobs for 28.1k people.This figure is 24.3k for the Bank, of whom more than half are in branches dispersed throughout Poland.By offering a salary level which is, on average, above the national average they have a positive impact on the levels of income of local communities.


Impact on relationships

The Bank and other entities of the Bank’s Group form standards in relations between employees and the employer, as well as between employees, through its organizational culture and the pursuit of employment policies.


Raising sports and social activity

When organizing charity events and sports events, the Bank activates the local community and strengthens interpersonal relationships through its pro-social activities presented below.


Contributing to the state budget and the local budgets

Central and local taxes forming revenues of the state and local governments’ budgets (in PLN mn)

Group of which: Bank
2018 2017 2018 2017
Central taxes, including: 3,403 2,929 2,924 2,586
Corporate income tax 1,611 1,264 1,343 1,080
Tax on certain financial institutions 950 932 883 894
Personal income tax 310 301 277 269
Lump sum personal income tax 326 248 323 243
Lump sum corporate income tax 77 76 77 75
Value added tax 129 109 22 25
Local taxes, including: 66 86 21 21
Vehicle tax 23 40 0 0
Property tax 30 33 14 15
Charge for perpetual usufruct 10 9 6 6
Other taxes and charges 3 4 1 1
Total taxes 3,469 3,015 2,945 2,607

Within their operations, the Bank and other entities of the Group also support the state budget and local budgets. In reference to 2018, the amount of taxes of entities from the Bank’s Group operating in Poland was equal to PLN 3,469mn, of which PLN 3,403mn were central taxes and PLN 66mn were local taxes. The Bank’s Group subsidiaries paid UAH 274mn to the Ukrainian budget and UAH 4.5mn in respect of local taxes.

Additionally, after a break of several years, in 2018 dividend was paid for 2017 in an amount of PLN 687.5mn, which strengthened the budgets of the shareholders, including the state budget and the OFE portfolios.

For many years, the Bank has been initiating and implementing social projects integrating business objectives with activities for all stakeholder groups. In accordance with the slogan of the current Strategy, the Bank develops relations with the community, actively performing activities for society and with its involvement. It supports educational, civic, cultural and charity events and projects. The bank is a socially responsible institution for which freedom and attachment to tradition are natural values. Therefore, it conducts activities that consolidate awareness and national identity, supporting the development of national heritage and popularizing the ideas of modern patriotism. The Bank implements this mission, among others, through sponsorship and patronage.

Structure of sponsorship budget

Both the Bank, as a part of its sponsoring activities, and Fundacja PKO Banku Polskiego (the Foundation), as a part of its charity activities, verify every partner and beneficiary of the support provided. No negative impact on the Bank’s image was identified in 2018 in these areas. Care for the rationality of the sponsorship and charity policies pursued is achieved through the synergy of activities. In the Foundation, the Programme Council consisting of representatives of the Bank takes care of this. The Bank and the Foundation implement projects jointly or separately in the most important programme areas in terms of image, such as culture, tradition, education and sport. Furthermore, the Foundation performs activities, the objectives of which are social welfare, protection of life and health and ecology. On the one hand, such a division of commitment to programme areas strengthens the Bank’s image-related benefits, while on the other, it broadens their range

a) Sponsorship activity


Sponsorship activities performed by the Bank have the objective of shaping the Bank’s image as a trustworthy, socially committed and modern financial institution, which is open to Customer needs. The Bank supports, among other things, cultural and educational institutions as a result of which they can develop and achieve their objectives.

An important aspect of the Bank’s sponsorship activities is its commitment to projects inspired by history, promoting a patriotic attitude and identity values. The Bank joins in and supports cultural events, such as exhibitions and concerts organized for anniversaries of important historical events or commemorating the achievements and attitudes of outstanding Poles.


Principles of sponsorship policy

The Bank’s sponsorship policy is governed by specific principles and a several-stage process of reviewing and accepting offers that are submitted. An important stage is its expert assessment, made on the basis of the following parameters:

  • the importance of the project;
  • the business (assessment for the ability to involve Customers and create a platform for building relations with stakeholders) and image potential;
  • the sponsorship title offered;
  • the credibility of the organizer, the business environment in which the Bank appears as a sponsor;
  • the equivalence of sponsorship benefits in relation to the expected amount of support.

Offers that are accepted are sent to the Sponsorship Committee, which guarantees that the proposals under consideration will be considered factually and comprehensively.

In 2018, the Bank received 733 applications, of which 276 were accepted – both national and smaller – dedicated to local communities.


Examples of support in the main areas

  • Business: support of business events (e.g.: Congress 590, Economic Forum in Krynica, European Financial Congress and Vision for Development Forum) as well as sectoral projects (e.g.: Retail Banking Congress, Top Industry Summit and Polska Chemia Congress), cooperation with the FinTech sector;
  • Culture: cooperation with museums, philharmonic orchestras, operas, theatres and film festivals. Support of cultural events organized for anniversaries of important historical events, such as the adoption of the Constitution of 3 May, Warsaw Uprising or a 100thanniversary of regaining Independence;
  • Sport: support for 34 events throughout Poland, development of the “PKO Bank Polski. Let’s Run Together” programme, running trainings as part of the “BiegamBoLubię” [IRunBecauseILikeTo] campaign on nearly a 100 athletic stadiums throughout Poland (53 000 participants), participation in 43 sporting events, support for Ekstraklasa [Top-League] (from July 2018) – long-term cooperation for the development of the league and young football talents.


Support of the Polish National Foundation (PFN)

The Bank is one of the founders of the Polish National Foundation (PFN), the mission of which is to “promote our successes in science, extensive culture, wonderful history and unique nature”. According to the PFN’s statutes, each of the founders was obliged to make contributions to the Foundation’s founding fund and make annual payments towards the organization’s activities for 10 years (starting from 2017).


b) Charity activities

Principles and objectives of the charity activities

The Foundation substantively and financially supports projects of importance to the development of Poland, implemented for and in consultation with the local communities, serving the purpose of building a civic society. The scope of the Foundation’s activities is specified in the Foundation’s Statutes, while the principles of cooperation between the Bank and the Foundation are governed by the agreement. Grants awarded by the Bank based on the resolutions of the Management Board constituted the main source of financing of the Foundation’s statutory objectives in 2018. Additionally, the Bank transfers to the Foundation a part of the profit generated in non-cash transactions in charity cards Inteligo Visa payWave: Dobro procentuje [Good pays dividends] (130 000 Customers of the Bank hold such cards). The support is designated to one of the four charity initiatives, selected by the Customer.

Structure of charity budget


Programme areas

In 2018, the Foundation received 889 applications for granting monetary donations for social activities. 336 projects were approved. The donation is transferred under a donation agreement concluded by and between the Foundation and the project partner.

The Foundation also transfers substantive donations to non-governmental organizations, in the form of IT hardware and furniture withdrawn from use from various banking units. In 2018, a substantive donation in the form of computers was provided to 7 organizations, while furniture was transferred to 41 beneficiaries.


Examples of support in the main areas

  • Tradition: supporting initiatives that consolidate national awareness, support the development of national heritage and develop civic attitudes. The Foundation works, among others, with the Warsaw Uprising Museum, and is involved in helping the charges of the Warsaw Uprising Association.
  • Education: cooperation, among others, with the Siemacha Association, the Youth Initiatives Foundation, the Polish Economic Society, the Museum of Józef Piłsudski in Sulejówek and the Academy of Modern Patriotism;
  • Hope: help to people under threat of exclusion, victims and the disabled in cooperation with, among others, the Disabled Drivers Help Association “SPiNKa” and the Assembly of Care and Upbringing Centres “The Spring” (Krzydlina Mała).


Own projects

The Foundation also implements its own projects, including:

  • Integration Santa Claus Meetings for the charges of the care and upbringing centres and the children of the Bank’s employees (6 050 children took part in group Christmas fun in 2018 at 39 meetings in 24 towns in Poland.Gifts were also sent to 37 care and upbringing centres; the activities were supported by 65 volunteers);
  • the Banking Honorary Blood Donation Campaign, the objective of which is to raise further generations of honorary blood donors (1776 people joined the campaign in 2018, thanks to whom nearly 800 litres of blood were provided to the needy);
  • a charity running campaign “I am running for …”(56 events were organized in 2018 and 34,820 runners participated in them, collecting PLN 730k, from which 72 beneficiaries benefited, including 56 children and 16 adults.A total of 378 such events have been conducted since the start of the programme, i.e. since 2013, with over 158k people taking part, while the Foundation supported 428 beneficiaries with more the PLN 3.8mn).
  • PKO Charity Run (6,500 people took part in the fourth Charity Run in 2018, including 4,220 adults and 2,280 children).The runners made the total of 34,796 laps. Thanks to them the Foundation designated PLN 705.9k for 16 organizations which fight against poverty among children and young pupils and students, and against malnutrition in this social group. Moreover, the supporters who were the best at cheering on their relay teams could choose an additional charity purpose for which the Foundation gave PLN 150k.
  • The Bank’s Collection – as part of the programme promoting the works of young artists, the Foundation executes a number of actions aimed at supporting and promoting Polish modern art. It organizes and finances plein-air painting for arts schools and individual exhibitions for outstanding students. One of the special projects was a vernissage of a charge of the Warsaw Hospice for Children.
  • Righteous among the Nations – disseminating an appeal addressed to the governments and parliaments of Poland and Israel through the Polish and foreign media in the context of the situation related to the Polish-Jewish dialogue with reference to our joint history and tradition. The project has been entered in the national heritage preservation.
  • promoting historical truth – publishing the declaration of the prime ministers of Poland and Israel in a dozen or so titles of the international press, revealing their joint position concerning the tragic events of the World War II, in particular the Holocaust the sole perpetrator of which was the Nazi Germany. The purpose of the project is to popularize the historic truth and build the proper image of Poland in the world, which was began on publication of the Appeal of the Righteous Among the Nations


Involvement of the remaining entities from the Bank’s Group in pro-social activity

The Bank (within the scope of sponsorship activities) and the Foundation (within the scope of activities for public benefit) conduct pro-social activities on behalf of the remaining entities from the Bank’s Group. Applications for sponsorship and charity sent to companies are redirected to the Bank and the Foundation.

Moreover, in 2018, some of the subsidiaries carried out a dozen or so projects on their own initiative, which were addressed to the local communities. PKO Leasing SA when executing an authorial programme “We can do more together, not only in business” in which the company’s employees participate, mainly provided financial support and organized picnics and educational campaigns for children from care and upbringing centres and the campaign 5+ for children starting education. The Centrum Haffnera sp. z o.o. Group was involved in 2018 in helping families, organizing events for children, helping older people and supporting animal shelters. KREDOBANK SA conducts its own pro-social activities focusing on the following objectives:

  • creating an image of the representative of the Capital Group of the largest Polish bank (diplomatic Christmas Fair in Odessa, IWCK “Charity Bazaar” organized by the Consulate of the Republic of Poland in Kiev);
  • support of the Ukrainian culture and spirituality (“Music in Old Lviv” festival);
  • support of initiatives in the areas of healthcare, education and sport (Jarmark Kariery [Careers Fair] addressed to students, purchase of equipment for intensive therapy of infants for a hospital).


Development of volunteer work

The Foundation encourages the employees of all the Bank’s Group entities to become involved in work for local communities.The involvement of the employees in charity activities is steadily increasing (1442 registered volunteers at the end of 2018, i.e. 77 more than a year before). Volunteers not only join the projects initiated by the Foundation, but often initiate them themselves.

In March 2018, a charity collection “Polacy Kresowym Straceńcom” was organized for the benefit of our compatriots living in Polish former Eastern Territories (in Lithuania, Belarus and Ukraine) – collection of food products with long shelf life, school articles for children and patriotic and national symbols (used during the celebrations of the 100thanniversary of regaining Independence by Poland).

Since 2017, an authorial project of the Foundation “Busola na start” [Compass for a start] has been in operation. Due to the need to provide systemic aid to foster care wards in the process of their professional stimulation, the Bank offers a possibility to them of apprenticeship/internship with an opportunity of obtaining long-term employment. The professional guardians (the Bank’s employees) not only care for the professional development of the young people but are also their guardians/mentors in the process of gaining practical life skills. Each of the guardians is at the same time a volunteer.

In 2018, the campaign “PKO to the Heroes” was continued. This is a campaign addressed to persons who rendered service to our country – those who fought in the Warsaw Uprising and veterans. The volunteers were involved, for example, in renovating an apartment and providing the necessary household equipment.


Anti-corruption system at the Bank

PKO Bank Polski SA does not tolerate corruption and counteracts all corrupt practices. Such phenomena as nepotism and accepting or offering any physical goods in order to influence decisions or actions taken are in conflict with the Bank’s values of credibility and trust.

The Bank has a number of regulations regarding the prevention of corruption, including accepting benefits, presents or gifts. They are primarily:

  • PKO Bank Polski SA’s Code of Ethics;
  • the Code of Banking Ethics (Principles of Good Banking Practice) by the Polish Bank Association;
  • the principles of compliance risk management and procedural risk management at the Bank.

The Bank applies an internal anti-corruption policy intended to prevent the creation of an environment which is conducive to the offences referred to in Articles 229, 230a, 296a and 305 of the Penal Code (acts of a corruption nature) by entities related to the Bank, including, in particular, solutions ensuring:

  • counteracting the emergence of mechanisms for granting property and personal benefits;
  • familiarizing entities related to the Bank with the principles of criminal liability for the crimes referred to above;
  • observance by the people related to the Bank of PKO Bank Polski SA’s Code of Ethics and the internal regulations regarding the procedure for reporting the acceptance of benefits, presents or gifts by the Bank’s employees;
  • counteracting decision-making under the influence of corrupt activities and conflicts of interest;
  • immediate notification of the relevant organizational units of the Headquarters and the Bank’s authorities by the entities related to the Bank about possible corrupt proposals received by those persons regarding the operation of the Bank, as well as reporting them to the competent bodies of public administration.

Within the Bank’s Group, including the Bank, the risks related to corruption are identified in particular:

  • in the Customer service areas (individual and business);
  • in the area of the supply of goods and services to the Bank’s Group companies, including the Bank, by external entities;
  • in connection with donations and sponsorship agreements;
  • in the area of relations of the Bank’s Group (including the Bank’s) employees with bodies of state administration.

These areas are subject to particular attention, the processes are regulated in detail, while decisions which have significant financial consequences are accepted, in principle, through the so-called “second hand” (they require dual acceptance).

The internal regulations of the Bank on the prevention of corruption are very detailed. With regard to the Bank’s employees and people acting on behalf of the Bank, they include:

  • the prohibition to accept benefits, presents or gifts intended for personal use from Customers and potential Customers, as well as representatives of entities working with the Bank or applying to start working with the Bank, which could:
  • result in an informal obligation to a given Customer or person working with the Bank;
  • cause a conflict of interests;
  • otherwise negatively affect the manner in which the Bank’s employee performs his corporate duties.
  • this prohibition applies, in particular, to cash or cash equivalents, physical donations (presents and gifts) and other material benefits (in particular financing of travelling expenses, relaxation or training costs, participation in an event, or lending an asset, e.g. a car, for free use or use on terms that deviate from market terms), as well as the acceptance by any person involved in the procurement proceedings organized by the Bank, of any gifts and benefits from entities which are bidders or potential bidders in these proceedings;
  • the exclusion of the possibility of circumventing the above prohibition, in particular by persuading other people (e.g. people living together in a household, family members or relatives) to accept the gift on their behalf;
  • it is exceptionally acceptable to accept a benefit or gift in business relations, on the terms and conditions set out in the Bank’s internal regulations regarding the acceptance of benefits, presents or gifts;
  • the prohibition to offer any benefits, presents, gifts or incentives to Customers, trading partners, representatives of bodies of public administration and other entities, which are not a part of the Bank’s offering of products and services, on behalf of the Bank, in order to persuade those persons to behave in a particular way, especially to take steps which are inconsistent with the provisions of the law or good practices.

If the Bank’s employee has doubts as to whether the acceptance of a benefit, present or gift is admissible in a given situation, he is required to consult his supervisor or the appropriate organizational unit at the Bank, which manages compliance risk.


System of reporting breaches and reporting

The Bank has an anonymous system for reporting breaches (the institution of the whistle-blower relates to all unethical or illegal acts). Additionally, under the internal regulations, each of the Bank’s employees is obliged to report any suspicion of a crime having been committed in connection with the Bank’s activities. A report regarding a member of the management board is escalated to the Supervisory Board, in other cases – to the vice-president of the Bank’s Management Board (from 1 January 2019, to the President of the Bank’s Management Board). Each matter is dealt with on the basis of the internal regulations. There is a requirement at the Bank to submit regular reports to the Management Board about identified cases of fraud, including those involving corrupt activities.

In the case of a breach by an employee of the Bank of the generally applicable provisions of the law and the Bank’s internal regulations, including those regarding corruption, the Bank applies the solutions specified in the provisions of the labour law. If a particular case is qualified as grounds for instituting disciplinary proceedings, such proceedings are conducted and – depending on their outcome – the Bank applies the list of consequences provided for in the above regulations, including the right to terminate such an employee’s employment contract.

The Bank holds preliminary and regular training of the Bank’s employees on the reporting of breaches and cases of non-compliance (including those bearing signs of corruption) and gives them access to the necessary information and internal regulations in this area (also electronically through the internal website). Each of the Bank’s employees is required to undergo training regarding the principles of counteracting all corrupt practices.


Anti-corruption system at the Bank’s Group

In the remaining entities from the Bank’s Group, each of the subsidiaries, the business of which is related to the risk of corruption, has the appropriate regulations on the prevention of corrupt practices.  Every employee is required to read and apply these regulations. Each entity formulates appropriate regulations, taking into account the specificity of its activities and its own assessment of the areas of risk of corruption and bribery, which is why a uniform policy does not apply within the Bank’s Group on this.

Among the incidents which occurred in 2018, no critical events and no corruption activities were identified in the Bank’s Group entities which would result in disrupting the operations of the Bank or of the other entities belonging to the Bank’s Group.

The Bank and the Bank’s Group entities also include their potential trading partners in the anti-corruption activities. When joining the procurement procedure, the bidder declares that “he does not offer or provide any financial benefits to bear an influence on the decision on the selection of his proposal. He does not affect the choice of offering in a manner which is in conflict with the law or good practices and does not take part in any agreements or arrangements with other third parties, which would have the objective of influencing the selection of them.”

In the process of developing regulations, procedures and policies referring to human rights, the individual entities belonging to the Bank’s Group draw from the achievements of international organizations and respect the fundamental principles set in the International Bill of Rights which is composed of the following three documents: (1) the Universal Declaration of Human Rights; (2) the UN Convention: the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights;
(3) the UN Convention: the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights.

Depending on the size and specificity of the given entity of the Bank’s Group, observing human rights is manifested equally in the internal provisions, the initiatives undertaken and in everyday practice. This applies, in particular, to the rights to:

  • recognize the identity of every employee;
  • proclaiming one’s views and opinions, freedom of thought, conscience and religion;
  • the protection of personal rights;
  • equal treatment;
  • access to information;
  • access to healthcare;
  • respect for privacy.


Internal documents related to human rights

Some of the Bank’s Group entities have included provisions related to respect for human rights and the prohibition of discrimination in such documents as:

  • employment regulations;
  • Code (Principles) of Ethics;
  • the Book of Values.

At the Bank, references to respect for human rights are contained in:

  • PKO Bank Polski SA’s Code of Ethics;
  • the principles of counteracting mobbing and discrimination and the procedure for handling complaints concerning violation of employee rights;
  • the principles of recruitment and the Standards of Recruitment;
  • agreements concluded with service providers (applies to personal data protection agreements);

as well as in strategic programmes such as:

  • Culture of a modern organization and
  • Improving the processes of managing employee potential.

Issues regarding forced labour and child labour are not directly reflected in the Bank’s regulations, because

  • the prohibition of forced labour arises from Article 4 of the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms;
  • the prohibition to employ people under the age of 16 arises from Article 190, para. 2 of the Labour Code.

The remaining entities from the Bank’s Group consider that there is no need to formalize the issue of respect for human rights, although matters of respect for human rights are taken into account, equally in the processes conducted, everyday practice and in the unwritten rules.


Respecting human rights

One of the most crucial elements/stages of the analysis is the identification of human rights in the context of the operations conducted. The Bank’s Group operates in several countries where it provides financial services, which sets the scope of the human rights to be considered, and thus eliminates the challenges faced, for example, by manufacturing or mining companies. The countries in which the Bank’s Group operates are characterized by a similar level of development, and thus also challenges related to employment – no cases of underage employment or forced labour were identified. An immense task is the issue of observing the human rights in the supply chain, which in the context of the Bank’s Group entities boils down to relations with suppliers and outsourcing of services (mainly banking services). The issues of compliance with human rights are reflected in the procedures and agreements signed with these entities. Despite the fact that there is no formal clause about the right to conduct audits at the suppliers’, the Bank conducted a survey among them for the first time, checking for compliance with the principles of social and environmental responsibility which they agreed to observe when joining the bidding process.

Examples of activities conducted within the Bank’s Group entities, in which respect for human rights is disclosed, are presented below:

  • counteracting mobbing and discrimination;
  • basing the rules of the periodic appraisal on a dialogue with the employee, the employee’s involvement in the appraisal with the employee’s ability to appeal against the appraisal of skills and the results of the work issued by the superior;
  • use of recruitment principles that ensure equal treatment of candidates during the selection process for filling vacancies, without any discrimination, prejudice and without obtaining information that could breach the candidate’s rights and personal dignity.
  • basing promotion decisions on an objective appraisal of qualifications, skills and results of work;
  • supporting diversity in management, in particular with respect to age, experience, style of work, thinking; promotion of diversity among managers as an asset and not a limitation;
  • Enabling employees to express their opinions and influence important issues regarding the organization and working conditions, management, organizational culture, as well as enabling the provision of information about perceived crimes and fraud – assuring their anonymity and confidentiality (whistleblower mechanism);
  • protection of personal rights (personal data, sensitive data) of employees and customers through carefully prepared procedures and systems and inclusion of restrictive entries in contracts concluded with service providers who have access to such data;
  • creation of conditions for satisfying needs related to recreation and culture, as well as respect for principle of the work-life balance;
  • assurance of freedom of association;
  • creation of a safe working environment.

The Bank’s Group applies the same human rights standards within the entire supply chain in its business activities. In relations with external entities, special attention is paid to:

  • safety of the workplace;
  • not using children’s work or forced position of co-workers and contractors;
  • acting in a manner that does not breach the personal rights of the co-workers;
  • preventing discrimination or mobbing activity;
  • objectivity in selecting bids;
  • care about natural environment and its resources.

According to the assessment conducted in this report, there were no cases of breaches of human rights in 2018, and the actions taken have the objective of preventing such an eventuality.

The Bank’s Group entities monitor the risks accompanying the individual human rights and manage them at the firm’s level. The types of these risks and the manner of their management have been discussed in detail in the chapters referring to the individual human rights.


Communicating human rights internally and externally

The basic internal communication tool is the Intra portal which is regularly updated and contains information on benefits, rights and obligations of the Bank’s employees. Additionally, the employees receive all types of the necessary information via internal mail in the form of dedicated bulletins or information campaigns (screen savers, posters, pop-ups). On the internal portal the employees may find the following documents referring in various ways to the human rights issues:

  • The PKO Bank Polski SA’s Code of Ethics;
  • The Principles of Recruitment (regulations updated and communicated to the organization in 2018);
  • The recruitment standards (regulations updated and communicated to the organization in 2018);
  • The rules on the prevention of mobbing and discrimination and the procedure for handling complaints concerning breaches of the employee rights (provision updated and communicated to the organization in 2018; a clear presentation of the rules of the prevention of mobbing and discrimination and the procedure for handling complaints was attached to the text of the regulations, to facilitate the use of the procedure to the employees:
  • The rules of periodic appraisal (the regulations were updated and communicated to the organization in 2018). A special webpage was created on the Bank’s internal portal, available to the managers, i.e. the persons conducting the appraisals. The issues emphasized there included way of conducting interview with the employees, ways of discussing the appraisal and guidance on how to guard against potential distortions, understating or overstating employee appraisals. New managers are invited to a webinar where the tutors emphasize similar issues concerning proper appraisal and effective periodic interview);
  • Good practices in serving the disabled;

as well as a presentation of the Bank’s Values, which the Bank addresses to Customers and employees.

Human rights are communicated externally through the Bank’s publicly accessible website, which contains information about the PKO Bank Polski Foundation, about the idea of the charity it pursues as a measure of respect for the environment, in particular for other people.

The Bank verified its approach to the issue of observing human rights by making available the non-financial report to all potential stakeholders and taking into account the report’s assessment performed by the La Strada Foundation on request of the Reporting Standards Foundation.

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