Partit Demokratiku said that it will work to restore Malta’s reputation in the financial sector at an international level, as it reacted to the news that ING Bank will drop Bank of Valletta as of December. The Dutch bank serves as the last correspondent bank for BOV, handling its transactions in US dollars.
The Party said that Malta is perceived as not doing enough to counter money laundering and instead is moving in a different direction, which is why BOV is losing its last correspondent bank.
In a statement on Wednesday, the Party described the Dutch bank’s decision as a “wake up call” as it criticised Prime Minister Joseph Muscat for “taking the entire finance and gaming industry for a ride”. According to Partit Demokratiku ‘the whole world is ramping up its fight against money laundering, while Malta as a jurisdiction is internationally seen as moving in the other direction.’
PD remarked that money laundering and the fight against financing of terrorism is not a political game but poses a real risk that threatens the jobs of people involved in the sector. Once BOV loses its last US correspondent bank, each BOV transaction outside of the EU will take longer and will cost more to process.
The Party called on the government to ensure that the money laundering investigations into the Prime Minister’s Chief of Staff Keith Schembri and Minister Konrad Mizzi are given sufficient resources to proceed.