Updated: BOV clarifies its position
Bank of Valletta has clarified its position after claims that it had not abided by MFSA recommendations for the settlement of claims related to the selling of investment products.
The bank said that it was dealing with all complaints related to investment products. In a good number of cases it had reached an agreement with the customers involved. In others, investigations or discussions were still in progress with a view to finding a just and equitable arrangement whilst in a few other cases, the bank has rejected the customers' request.
The overall position to date is as follows:
Investment complaints where customers have been refunded - 39;
Investment complaints where BOV has made an offer that is being considered by the customer - 12;
Investment complaints where investigations are ongoing - 48;
Investment complaints not upheld by BOV - 39
"For the sake of clarity, in its communication of the 28 Dec 2011 followed by a letter of the 6 January 2012, the MFSA recommended that the Bank reaches a settlement with 20 complainants. Of these, the bank has reached an agreement with 18 customers," BOV said.
"Bank of Valletta would like to assure its customers and the general public that it is committed to remain the caring and genuine bank it is known to be and that it will always continue to be supportive to its customers."
It said it had always acted, and would continue to act in a responsible manner in keeping with its position as the largest financial services organisation in Malta, with a responsibility towards a substantial number of stakeholders including the economic and social development of the country as a whole.
In a reply, Finco Treasury Management director Paul Bonello said that BOV was being misleading because its information was based on the December/January situation and not on MFSA rulings since.
He said the MFSA did not “recommend that the bank reaches a settlement with an investor” in whose favour the MFSA would have found.
What the letters from the MFSA recommend is that the bank “reintegrates the client in his previous financial position”.
“When will Bank of Valletta start being true, complete, fair, clear and mature in stating the facts, to its minister, to its customers, to the press, to the general public,” he asked.
Rather than clarifying the situation, BOV was further confusing the public, he said.