The Malta Independent 21 March 2023, Tuesday
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APS Bank fined €228,706 by FIAU, bank will not appeal and says ‘remediation' done in past years

Wednesday, 1 February 2023, 19:09 Last update: about 3 months ago

APS Bank has been fined €228,706 by the Financial Intelligence Analysis Unit over an inspection which took place in 2020.

The FIAU found in its inspection that there were breaches in the bank’s Business Risk Assessment, which at the time had been drafted in the final quarter of 2019 – far later than when the legal requirement for one came into force on 1 January 2018.


The FIAU also found “various shortcomings” in the bank’s then risk assessment methodology and in the implementation of its new risk assessment methodology in the second quarter of 2020. 

The FIAU noted that the breaches all stem from the former risk assessment methodology being inadequate and that the seriousness of the failure is compounded as it persisted for a considerable amount of time.

“Notwithstanding the above, the Committee positively acknowledged that the Bank’s new risk assessment methodology adequately addresses the majority of the shortcomings identified with the former risk assessment methodology,” the FIAU’s enforcement notice read.

The Bank said in a company announcement published on the Malta Stock Exchange that it would not be appealing the fine and that it was satisfied that it had carried out significant remediation work and improvements over the past years.

The Bank said that it has taken note of the findings, which it said largely relate to “legacy matters” and said that it is “satisfied that the outcome also reflects the significant remediation that has been taking place over the past years.”

“While noting also that the administrative penalty has no material impact on its financial performance, the Bank informs that it will not be lodging an appeal to the Notice or penalty,” the bank said.

The Bank is fully committed to the highest standards of operational integrity and regulatory compliance, and is a key player in the fight against financial crime.

Over the past years, the Bank said that it had increased its investment in resources and technology to enhance and increase the effectiveness of its financial crime compliance framework, which had already commenced before the 2020 examination took place.

“The Bank appreciates that its proactiveness in carrying out the necessary remedial actions and its commitment to enhance its processes and controls, have also been commended by the FIAU in the Enforcement Notice,” the notice read.

Marcel Cassar, CEO, commented: “We welcome the publication of the FIAU statement as it marks the closure of an examination that helped us further improve our risk and compliance management. Having taken the examination findings very seriously, we carried out remediation, invested in technology, robustly grew our financial crime compliance resources and scaled up training across the entire Bank. Overall, we are positive that this process has continued to strengthen the Bank’s governance, systems and compliance controls.”

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