Statement from the shareholders of Satabank
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.”