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Malta Bankers’ Association acknowledges retiring secretary general

From left: Marcel Cassar, James Bonello and Mario Mallia

From left: Marcel Cassar, James Bonello and Mario Mallia

The Malta Bankers’ Association recently hosted farewell drinks for its long-standing secretary general James Bonello who retired after a distinguished career in banking and 14 years of service to the MBA.

The reception was held at the Caprice Gardens and Lounge at the Corinthia Palace Hotel in Attard and was attended by many senior representatives of Malta’s banking community and of the supervisory authorities. 

While expressing thanks to Mr Bonello for his years of service, MBA chairman, Marcel Cassar said that, “Today we are also celebrating a long and distinguished career in banking and financial services that goes back over half a century.”

Mr Cassar referred to the fact that Mr Bonello’s tenure of office coincided with the association becoming a full member of the European Banking Federation upon Malta joining the EU, marking the start of a very interesting and enriching experience for the MBA reaping the benefits of the international network, resources and overall platform that the federation provides. It also became an intensely demanding time for the association, throughout which Mr Bonello was running the MBA with the same vigour, sharpness and motivation as ever.

Bonello joined Barclays Bank in 1965 and his career progressed rapidly, eventually with Mid-Med Bank leading to a series of senior secondments, first in 1988 to the Malta Development Corporation and then to the newly-created Malta International Business Authority – MIBA – which over time, evolved into today’s MFSA, where he served as chief executive officer.

He was called back to Mid-Med Bank in 1994 to run its newly- created international banking subsidiary Mid-Med Bank Overseas. With the takeover of HSBC in 1999, he became head of commercial banking and, in 2002, the first Maltese executive director on the bank’s board. In 2004, he joined the association as secretary general where he served until May 2018, also sitting on the boards of the Depositor Compensation Scheme, the Investor Compensation Scheme and the Forum for Financial Stability, among many others.

Those present for the farewell included Central Bank of Malta deputy governors Alexander Demarco and Oliver Bonello, former MFSA chairman Joe V. Bannister, Depositor Compensation Scheme chairman Robert Caruana, various bank CEOs and MBA Board members, including vice chairman Andrew Beane and its former chairman, Mario Mallia.

From left, Andrew Beane, Henry Schmeltzer and James Bonello From left, Andrew Beane, Henry Schmeltzer and James Bonello 

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