Currency exchange office in Poland

The currency exchange office in Poland is business involving the buying and selling of foreign exchange assets and intermediation in their buying and selling. According to Polish Act Of 27 July 2002 Foreign Exchange Law, currency exchange business in Poland is a regulated activity and requires entry in the register of currency exchange business.

Requirements of currency exchange business in Poland

Currency exchange business in Poland may be operated by a natural person who has not been convicted of a fiscal offence or offence committed in order to gain financial or personal advantage or a company, if none of its representatives has been convicted of such offence.

Moreover, transactions directly associated with currency exchange business may be handled only by persons who have not been convicted of the offences referred above and who have the professional skills required to handle those transactions.

Professional skills mean:

  1. successful completion of a training course covering legal and practical aspects of currency exchange business, proved be relevant certificate, or
  2. at least one year of professional experience working in a bank at a position directly associated with the handling of foreign exchange transactions, proved by employment certificate and knowledge of the legislation governing currency exchange business, confirmed by a relevant statement.

Entrepreneur conducting currency exchange business have to ensure:

  1. continuous and permanent maintenance and updating of the records of all transactions of foreign exchange assets and Polish currency to change;
  2. availability, during office hours, of the foreign exchange assets for purchase and for sale;
  3. issuance, in accordance with relevant legal provisions, of nominal or bearer proofs of purchase or sale for each transaction of purchase or sale of the foreign exchange assets;
  4. premises and equipment that comply with the technical and organisational conditions required to ensure safe and proper handling of transactions directly associated with currency exchange business.

Currency exchange register in Poland

The currency business register in Poland is maintained by the President of the National Bank of Poland. Entries in the register are made based on a written application submitted by an entrepreneur, which shall include the following data:

  1. name of the entrepreneur’s business, his registered and business address;
  2. commercial number;
  3. tax identification number (pl: ”NIP”);
  4. address or addresses of currency exchange offices;
  5. scope of entrepreneur’s currency exchange activity in respect of currency exchange offices;
  6. entrepreneur’s signature, date and place of submission of the application.

An application shall be accompanied by the following written statement of the entrepreneur:

I declare that:

The data in the application for registration are true and complete.

I am aware of and comply with the conditions for currency exchange business set forth in Chapter 4 of the Foreign Exchange Law Act of 27 July 2002.

I also declare that I have a valid criminal record certificate and documents confirming the skills required by Polish regulation

Online currency exchange office in Poland

Online currency exchange office in Poland is not subject to entry in the register of currency exchange offices. What is more, the activity of the Internet currency exchange offices is not a currency exchange office activity within the meaning of the Polish Foreign Exchange Act and is not subject to the regulations of this act. 

Moreover, the provision of a stand-alone non-cash currency exchange service in the network can not be recognized also as payment service. However, some online exchange offices in Poland are supervised by the Polish Financial Supervision Authority. Such companies in Poland also provide other payment services.  According to the statements of the Minister of Finance:

“if the currency exchange service via the Internet is combined with the provision of a payment service for example maintaining a payment account, such activity is subject to payment services license, although in itself it will still not be a payment service”.

Due to this, the approval of the Polish Financial Supervision Authority and the payment institution license are easiest way to obtain approval for online exchange offices, which, apart from currency exchange, also offer other financial services.

Summarize:

  1. If entrepreneur renders only services of currency exchange, it does not hold/manage client’s funds and exchange take place immediately – Polish online exchange office does not have to obtain entry to exchange business registry nor payment services license;
  2. However, if company stores clients’ funds and manages their online account – such activity has to be recognized as rendering payment services (managing clients’ accounts with funds)
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