The Malta Independent 24 October 2020, Saturday

PN forum ‘concerned’ BOV set to lose US Dollar correspondence relationship

Saturday, 10 October 2020, 09:37 Last update: about 13 days ago

The Forum Professjonisti Partit Nazzjonalista said it is extremely concerned by the announcement by Bank of Valletta that it has been advised by Raiffeisen Bank International that it is seeking to terminate its US Dollar correspondence relationship with the bank with effect from March 31 2021.

In the world of financial services the US Dollar has remained a primary currency of global trade, the forum said. Business and trade with non-European Union jurisdictions is primarily conducted in US Dollars the world over. The US Dollar has retained a dominant position particularly in emerging markets which markets often present excellent investment opportunities.

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It thus follows that having US Dollar trading facilities is an absolutely essential ingredient for any jurisdiction hoping to market itself as a financial services jurisdiction of choice. To attempt to promote a jurisdiction as a financial services jurisdiction of choice without having US Dollar facilities is not unlike trying to sell a sports car that lacks key components in the engine.

The forum said the decision by Raiffeisen Bank International follows hot on the heels of a similar decision by Deutsche Bank and ING Bank. The scenario of Malta having a more limited sphere of US Dollar transactions is thus fast becoming a more realistic scenario. Bank of Valletta retains a very important place within the Maltese financial services industry. Any limitations on such an important player will have very dire consequences on the entire industry and risks placing other players in jeopardy. Any difficulties within such an important bank within the Maltese economic scenario must be seen as a danger to the Maltese economy as a whole.

“This sudden turn is not without reason. Whilst Labour and its henchmen like Karl Stagno Navarra would have us believe that Malta is the envy of the world and that there have never been better times; the reality is that Malta is reaping what is sowed,” the forum said. Since 2013 Malta has sowed institutionalized corruption, a culture of impunity, the murder of an investigative journalist for doing her job, a culture where those in high circles are allowed to get away with flagrant violations of the law and a misuse of the financial services industry by the few who were only interested in making their pocket fatter. The perils facing Malta can only be attributed to Joseph Muscat, to whom Robert Abela served as a loyal legal advisor and the likes of Konrad Mizzi and Keith Schembri.

FPPN is saddened that the price for the crimes of the Labour government shall be paid by the hardworking professionals in the financial services industry. Years of hard work and dedication risk going up in smoke. Meanwhile, to this day, Konrad Mizzi and Keith Schembri are free men and Joseph Muscat got his slot of ‘hail the hero’ on One Television this week.

Malta deserves better, the forum said. Malta deserves a government that will clean up its reputation through real action and real measures which truly secure our industry and which truly make Malta a financial services jurisdiction of choice.  Malta deserves a government that will ensure that all players within the industry are left to operate in an environment that will provide them an opportunity for growth.

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