State­ment from the share­hold­ers of Sata­bank

The Malta Business Weekly - - NEWS -

On 15 Oc­to­ber, the Malta Fi­nan­cial Ser­vices Au­thor­ity is­sued a di­rec­tive to the bank ap­point­ing a Com­pe­tent Per­son in terms of ar­ti­cle 29 (1)(b) of the Bank­ing Act to ad­vise the bank in the proper con­duct of its busi­ness. This was fol­lowed on 20 Oc­to­ber, with a di­rec­tive from the MFSA to the bank in terms of ar­ti­cles 9 and 4B as well as ar­ti­cles 29 (1)(c) and (d) of the Bank­ing Act. The re­sult of this sec­ond di­rec­tive re­sulted in the bank ef­fec­tively ceas­ing to trade and the freez­ing of all cus­tomer ac­counts held with Sata­bank.

The fol­low­ing state­ment is is­sued on be­half of Sig­nia Hold­ing Ltd, ma­jor­ity share­holder of Sata­bank:

“Since the 20th Oc­to­ber, Sig­nia Hold­ing Ltd as the share­holder of Sata­bank has been very con­cerned that the ac­tions taken by the Malta Fi­nan­cial Ser­vices Au­thor­ity have re­sulted in con­sid­er­able suf­fer­ing and in­con­ve­nience to the cus­tomers of Sata­bank.

“On 13 Novem­ber, Sig­nia Hold­ing Ltd and Sata­bank plc, filed an ap­peal be­fore the Fi­nan­cial Ser­vices Tri­bunal in Malta ask­ing the court to re­voke and re­verse the di­rec­tive of the MFSA dated 15 and 20 Oc­to­ber. Prior to this di­rec­tive, the bank was meet­ing its pru­den­tial fi­nan­cial re­quire­ments in­clud­ing liq­uid­ity cov­er­age ra­tios com­fort­ably.

“The MFSA ap­pointed a Com­pe­tent Per­son to ad­vise the bank on 15 Oc­to­ber, which in­cluded an in­ter­na­tional team of con­sul­tants, who are charg­ing the bank up to €689 per hour for their work. The share­hold­ers are not op­posed to the ap­point­ment of the Com­pe­tent Per­son as an ad­viser to Sata­bank, but to the de­ci­sion of the MFSA to agree to such ex­or­bi­tant pay­ment rates, which will harm the bank and its de­pos­i­tors.

“The share­hold­ers are also ap­peal­ing against the MFSA’s de­ci­sion, taken just five days af­ter the ap­point­ment of the Com­pe­tent Per­son as ad­vi­sor to the bank, to ap­point the Com­pe­tent Per­son to take charge of the bank’s as­sets and to as­sume con­trol of the bank, ef­fec­tively ceas­ing all bank­ing ac­tiv­i­ties and caus­ing un­due suf­fer­ing to cus­tomers.

“Be­tween 15 Oc­to­ber and 20 Oc­to­ber, no ex­pla­na­tion was pro­vided why the di­rec­tive ceas­ing trad­ing ac­tiv­ity was re­quired when other mea­sures had been put in place. We re­main un­aware of any rea­sons for this ac­tion.”

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