2022 Annual Report



2022 Annual Report

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

The Bank has a number of internal regulations regarding the prevention of corruption, including accepting benefits, presents or gifts, in particular:

  • PKO Bank Polski S.A.’s Code of Ethics,
  • Code of Banking Ethics (Principles of Good Banking Practice) by the Polish Bank Association,
  • Principles of ensuring compliance, compliance risk management and conduct risk management at the Bank.

These documents jointly define the Bank’s policy, and the last one defines the procedure to be followed in the event of identification of a risk of corruption.

The Bank follows internal anti-corruption principles and prevents the creation of an environment which is conducive to the commitment of the offences referred to in Articles 229, 230a, 296a and 305 of the Criminal Code (acts of corruption) by the Bank’s related entities.

  • counteracting the emergence of mechanisms for granting financial and personal benefits,
  • familiarizing the Bank’s related entities with the principles of criminal liability for the crimes referred to above,
  • observance, by the people related to the Bank, of the PKO Bank Polski S.A.’s Code of Ethics and the Bank’s internal regulations on reporting the acceptance of benefits, presents and/or gifts by the Bank’s employees,
  • counteracting making decisions under the influence of corrupt activities and in conflicts of interests,
  • immediate notification of the competent organizational units of the Headquarters and the Bank’s authorities by the Bank’s related entities of possible corrupt proposals received by those persons, regarding the operations of the Bank, as well as reporting them to the competent public administration authorities.

[205-1] Within the Bank’s Group, including the Bank, the risks related to corruption are identified in particular:

  • in the individual and business customer service areas,
  • in the area of the supply of goods and services to the entities of the Bank’s Group, including the Bank, by external entities,
  • in connection with donations and sponsorship agreements,


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 prohibition to accept benefits, presents or gifts intended for personal use from customers and prospective customers, as well as from the representatives of the entities cooperating with the Bank and/or seeking to enter into cooperation with the Bank, which could:
    • result in an informal obligation to a given customer and/or person cooperating with the Bank,
    • cause a conflict of interests,
    • otherwise affect the manner in which the Bank’s employee performs their professional duties negatively.

This prohibition applies, in particular, to cash or cash equivalents, donations in kind (presents and gifts) and other material benefits (in particular the financing of travel, leisure or training expenses, participation in events or lending an asset, e.g. a car, for free-of-charge use or use on terms that deviate from arm’s length 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 prospective bidders in these proceedings,

  • exclusion of the possibility of circumventing the above prohibition, in particular by persuading other people (e.g. people living in the same household, family members or relatives) to accept the gift on their behalf,
  • under exceptional circumstances, it is acceptable to accept a benefit or present in business relations, under the terms and conditions set out in the Bank’s internal regulations regarding the acceptance of benefits, presents or gifts,
  • the prohibition to offer, on behalf of the Bank, customers, counterparties, representatives of public administration authorities and other entities any benefits, presents, gifts or incentives which are not a part of the Bank’s product and service offer in order to persuade those persons to behave in a particular way, especially to take measures which are contrary to the legal regulations or good practices.

If a Bank employee has doubts as to whether the acceptance of a benefit, present or gift is allowed in a given situation, they are required to consult their superior or the Bank’s unit which manages compliance risk. Every new employee of the Bank receives information on the principles applicable in this regard.

Corrupt behaviour is treated as non-compliance and reported to the Bank’s Management Board and Supervisory Board. The risk of corruption is an element of the compliance risk assessment process.

In the other entities of the Bank’s Group, each subsidiary whose business activities are associated with the risk of corruption has appropriate regulations in place to prevent corrupt practices. Every employee is required to read and apply these regulations. Each entity formulates appropriate regulations taking into account the specific nature of its activities and its own assessment of the areas of risk of corruption and bribery, therefore the Bank’s Group does not have a standard policy in this respect.

In 2022, no critical events in this area were identified, and no corruption activities were identified in the entities of the Bank’s Group which could result in disrupting the operations of the Bank or the other entities of the Bank’s Group.

The Bank and the other entities of the Bank’s Group also apply their anti-corruption measures to their prospective counterparties. A bidder taking part in the procurement proceedings declares that “they do not offer or provide any financial benefits to influence the decision on the selection of their proposal. They do not affect the selection of the proposal in a manner which is contrary to the law or good practice and do not take part in any agreements or arrangements with other third parties which are aimed at influencing their selection”.

  • GRI: 2-26

System of notifying breaches and reporting

The Bank’s employees have the possibility to report irregularities openly. An open report should be submitted to the Compliance Department or to another unit or organizational unit of the Bank’s Headquarters, using the following communication channels: electronic, by surface mail, telephone and in person (at any location, also outside the Bank). The reporting person is fully protected, excluding cases which must be disclosed to courts and law enforcement bodies in connection with criminal proceedings pending. Should they suffer any repression, there is a possibility to seek the assistance of the President of the Management Board. The reporting person will be provided with feedback if this is without detriment to the interests of the Bank or third parties.

The Bank has a system for reporting breaches anonymously, introduced by resolution of the Management Board and the Supervisory Board (the institution of whistleblower is applicable to all unethical acts, illegal or contrary to the Bank’s internal regulations and to breaches of the recommendations of supervisory and audit authorities). Additionally, the Bank obliged employees to report every suspected crime committed in connection with the Bank’s activities. Such reports may also be submitted on a general basis by other persons. A report regarding a member of the Management Board is addressed to the Chairman of the Supervisory Board, and all other reports are addressed to the President of the Bank’s Management Board. The Bank has internal regulations which define the manner of proceeding in such matters.

Anonymous applications can be submitted electronically, by phone and/or by post, and as of 2.01.2023, via a dedicated, independent and encrypted communication channel as well (https://www.pkobp.pl/sygnanet/). The persons reporting irregularities anonymously are guaranteed full protection of their personal details and of the information they provide. If, based on the contents of the report, the reporting person’s identity can be established, such information is deleted by the recipient of the report before further action is taken. Employees reporting irregularities, even if the allegations they make are not confirmed, are protected in particular against any repressive measures, discrimination or other types of unfair treatment. Should they suffer any repression, there is a possibility to seek the assistance of the President of the Management Board.

The Bank also has detailed procedures for conducting verification and rectification activities as a result of the reported breaches. Reports are verified by a limited number of persons appointed by the President of the Bank’s Management Board.

Since the identity of the reporting person is unknown, it is therefore not possible in most cases to provide feedback to the reporting person.

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

The Bank provides preliminary and regular training for its employees on reporting breaches and cases of noncompliance. The Bank provides the employees with access to the necessary information and internal regulations in this area, also in electronic form in the intranet. Every employee of the Bank is required to undergo training in the principles for counteracting any corrupt practices.

Information on the reported irregularities, including those involving corruption activities and the results of their verification, is reported on a cyclical basis to the Management Board and the Supervisory Board of the Bank.

Similar solutions are applied at the selected companies of the Bank’s Group adequately to the scale and scope of their activities.

In 2022, the Bank received several dozen anonymous reports. They concerned primarily the relationships between the employees and superiors. Only in very few cases were the irregularities confirmed.

[205-3] In 2022, no cases of corruption were identified, as in 2021.

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