Short for Komisja Nadzoru Finansowego, the KNF is Poland’s regulatory authority overseeing the financial activities of online FX/CFD brokerages – among a number of other actors of the finance scene.
The tasks and objectives of the KNF far exceed the supervision of financial activity though. In addition to the capital markets, the authority overlooks banks, the insurance market, the pension markets, electronic cash operators, payment processors, service bureaus as well as credit unions and cooperative savings.
Long story short: the arm of the KNF is indeed a long one within Poland, and those who intend to operate an online brokerage legally within the country, need to turn to it.
What exactly does all the above-described overlooking and supervision consist of though?
The KNF is tasked with the implementation of measures aimed at the smooth operation of the Polish financial markets. In addition to that, the authority also needs to actively develop the said markets and to increase their competitiveness. The authority is also involved in the drafting of laws aimed at financial market regulation.
KNF also acts a mediator between financial service providers and the clients at whom such services are aimed. More precisely, it attempts the amicable resolution of disputes arising between the said two parties.
It educates as well, and it carries out other regulatory activities.
In accordance with the above-stated, the KNF acts as a portal for information and support, one that financial services consumers can turn to, to run a sort of background-check on their brokers and to submit complaints.
In this regard, the official website of the KNF (knf.gov.pl) features an entities search section, as well as a Public Warnings page.
A selection of electronic forms is offered as well, through which consumers can submit information regarding the perceived or real irregularities they have noticed in regards to the way their service provider operates.
Detailed information about consumer protection is provided as well, together with links to the office of the Financial Ombudsman and the Office of Competition and Consumer Protection.
Obviously, the other side of the service provider-consumer equation is covered as well by the KNF. The official site of the regulator offers information and assistance to financial service providers too.
The regulations are listed in detail, including the EU laws pertaining to the activity. Financial service providers should make sure they understand the Supervisory Disclosure (also published at the site), which makes it clear – according to EU law, exactly what it means from a legal perspective, to be one of the financial entities supervised by the KNF.
The legal framework which lends the KNF its “powers” and which has in effect created the regulatory authority, is based on the Act on Financial Market Supervision, which came into effect on September 19, 2006.
The creation of the KNF also implied the dissolution of the Pension Funds Supervision Commission and the Polish Securities and Exchange Commission, whose roles were taken over by the newly established authority.
The Commission for Banking Supervision was also abolished on January 1, 2008, its duties taken over by the PFSA.
Below is a list of brokers that are KNF regulated