Poland's Kaczynski tells banks to give savers higher interest or expect more taxes

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FILE PHOTO: Law and Justice (PiS) leader Jaroslaw Kaczynski applauds during first sitting of Poland's lower house of parliament in Warsaw, Poland November 12, 2019.

WARSAW (Reuters) - Polish banks will be taxed more if they don't offer clients higher interest on their deposits, the leader of Poland's ruling party said on Saturday, intensifying government pressure on the sector to share the benefits of rising rates with savers.

Poland's main interest rate is at its highest level since 2008, boosting banks' profits but squeezing household budgets in a country where floating rate mortgages are the norm.

"I do not want to decide for the bankers, but it must be a solid percentage, not at the level of inflation, but enough for people to feel that this money will lose much less value when it is in the bank," Jaroslaw Kaczynski said during a speech in the eastern city of Bialystok.

"If not, then we will have to tax these profits and that's it."

Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki has previously criticised banks for not offering savers enough interest, and said in May he would use "persuasion" to make them offer more.

(Reporting by Alan Charlish; Editing by David Holmes)