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New Maltese bank officially launched

FCM Bank, a new Maltese bank, was officially launched by Finance Minister Tonio Fenech at a lunchtime event at its premises within the Aragon Business Centre in St Julian’s on Friday.

The cornerstone of banking is trust

The bank, which is to launch its first products in the next few weeks, will be positioned in the deposit-taking market and will gear its lending business towards private and corporate clients. It is already involved in international lending syndicates in a variety of sectors.

FCM Bank will initially operate an online model but seeks to establish a modest branch presence in the short-term, before it makes its first foray on the continent.

FCM Bank is owned by Fortelus Capital Management, the investment management firm of Pall Mall, London, founded in 2007 by prominent investment banker Tim Babich.

Mr Babich sits on the board with chief executive officer Michael Warrington and three other veteran bankers – two Maltese and one British.

Mr Fenech welcomed the growing competition in the local banking market, which now comprises 25 players servicing Maltese and international clients.

He praised FCM Bank’s key values of transparency, honesty and integrity, which he said were essential to build trust, but explained that they must be complemented by a high level of ethical and professional behaviour.

“The banking industry needs competition in a prudent and well-regulated market,” Mr Fenech said. “The cornerstone of banking is trust.”

Pledging the government’s continued commitment to maintaining a robust, competitive Maltese jurisdiction, Mr Fenech said it was only with the contribution of the private sector, practitioners and active participants that it was possible to keep the jurisdiction attuned to the practical realities of the market.

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