The Malta Independent 23 July 2019, Tuesday

Bank of Valletta to lose its last US dollar correspondent bank in December

Monday, 17 June 2019, 14:28 Last update: about 2 months ago

Bank of Valletta will be losing the services of its last remaining US dollar correspondent bank, not because it was doing poorly but because it has been doing so well, Prime Minister Joseph Muscat said on Monday.

Answering questions from reporters, Muscat explained that BOV’s last correspondent bank for US dollar transactions, Dutch Bank ING, will be terminating its contract 14 December 2019.

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Muscat did not go into specific detail, but said that BOV was working on a plan for "fall back positions”.

It has been reported that the Dutch bank has been keen on cutting ties with smaller jurisdictions it considers being “too risky”, after being fined €775 million last September for money laundering violations.

Speaking to Times of Malta, BOV chairman Deo Scerri said that the bank was stepping up efforts to find an alternative US dollar clearing house.

“Smaller jurisdictions like Malta are being particularly hard hit, since the volumes of business they generate are not sufficient to be of interest to the larger players,” he said.

He also said that two ‘global consultancy firms’ were overseeing the internal process to reduce its risk profile and strengthen its anti-financial crime structures and ways to make it more attractive to potential correspondent banks.

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