Auditing firm lists BOV’s ineligible investors

An audit firm tasked by the financial services regulator to review the client files of an ill-fated Bank of Valletta property fund has concluded its work.

Mazars, an international accountancy firm, drew up a list of bank clients who were not experienced investors and so ineligible to invest in the property fund.

The report was handed over to the Malta Financial Services Authority last week and the investors will be eligible for compensation from the bank after they were sold the fund in breach of the prospectus conditions.

In a statement the MFSA said it will forward the list of investors to BOV for compensation.

In June BOV was found to have breached regulations when it sold the high-risk fund to inexperienced investors.

The authority fined the bank €200,000 and announced the appointment of an independent company to determine which investors warranted additional compensation.

Mazars was tasked to review the bank’s files and determine whether the clients satisfied the regulatory condition of having invested $50,000 (€40,000) over the previous five years, when they signed a declaration claiming they were experienced investors.

Inexperienced investors will be compensated at €1 per share, less any compensation already paid out by the bank last year.

The property fund went belly-up after it invested in high-risk sub funds that went bust. BOV suspended trading in the fund’s shares in August 2008, leaving investors high and dry.

Three separate investigations by the MFSA found the bank guilty of breaching regulatory procedures on various counts.


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