While writing an article about discovery of (in my opinion) new type of government bond of the 2nd Polish Republic in the form of PKO Savings Book I came to the conclusion that term “PKO” spelled as Pekao” is at least ambiguous if not misleading and often is being used in literature to refer to a different entity than actually intended so below you will find an attempt to clarify its meaning depending on the time frame and context:
I. Post Office Savings Bank in Warsaw (Pocztowa Kasa Oszczędności w Warszawie) – state savings bank established by Decree on establishment of Post Office Savings Bank of 7 February 1919 (source text in Polish only), replaced by The Law of 19 May 1920 on Post Office Savings Bank (source text in Polish only), and liquidated on 31 December 1949 by the Decree of 25 October 1948 on banking system reform.
II. General Savings Bank (Powszechna Kasa Oszczędności) – state savings bank created on 1 January 1950 and eventually merged with the National Bank of Poland on 1 July 1975.
III. General Savings Bank (Powszechna Kasa Oszczędności) – savings arm of the National Bank of Poland, operating under previous name and logo as department of the central bank between 1 January 1975 and 31 December 1987.
IV. General State Savings Bank (Powszechna Kasa Oszczędności Bank Państwowy) – state bank created on 1 January 1988 through a demerge of savings department from National Bank of Poland structures, later reorganized into public limited liability company and floated on the Warsaw Stock Exchange. Today this one is known as PKO BP SA.
Basically all those entities were distinct legal structures and from the formal/legal point of view PKO number IV is not related to PKO number I, although such claims are being made in various marketing publications.
To add even more confusion when PKO is spelled in verbal communication it may also mean:
V. Bank Polska Kasa Opieki SA, special purpose bank established in 1929 as state-owned public limited liability company (PKO number I being one of its shareholders together with two other state banks: Bank Gospodarstwa Krajowego and Państwowy Bank Rolny) in order to provide banking services to Polish emigrants. This one exists until today. Usually its name is written as “Pekao”.