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European Banking Authority investigation letter was ‘routine’ – Schembri

Busuttil says FIAU response was “mediocre”

A letter sent by the European Banking Association about institutional investigations into Pilatus Bank was only “routine” and part of their remit, Financial Services Parliamentary Secretary Silvio Schembri told parliament on Monday.

The EBA letter, sent on June 7, said that both the FIAU and the MFSA were under investigation for their action or lack thereof with respect to allegations made against Pilatus Bank.

Challenged about the letter in parliament by MP Simon Busuttil, Mr Schembri insisted that the authorities had issued a response to the letter.

However, Dr Busuttil said that the FIAU’s response was “mediocre” and made him feel “ashamed to be Maltese.” He lamented that the letter had yet to be tabled or discussed in the House of Representatives.

Dr Busuttil said that the EBA’s letter showed that the Opposition’s concerns on money laundering in Malta were not unfounded. These were concerns which had to be addressed before the introduction of cryptocurrencies, a new economic sector which, although meeting with the Opposition’s approval, posed potential money laundering risks.

The only way to defend Malta’s reputation, said Dr Busuttil, was to ensure that steps were taken against Pilatus Bank, its owner, Minister Konrad Mizzi, and OPM chief-of-staff Keith Schembri.

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