Government’s hardship fund for Satabank corporate clients not operating yet – GRTU
The government’s hardship fund meant for Satabank corporate clients is still not yet in operation, GRTU CEO Abigail Mamo told The Malta Independent on Sunday when asked about the GRTU’s view on the current Satabank situation.
Some of Satabank’s corporate customers began receiving the funds that they had stored in their bank accounts last week. Mamo told this newsroom that the cor- porate clients have been contacted according to how much money they had stored into their accounts, starting from those who had the least. The same process had been used by the bank in the release of the funds of private clients. Mamo said that thus far, corporate clients had received a generic email listing the documents required for their funds to be released.
In the meantime however, a hardship fund operated by Malta Enterprise was meant to have been opened. It was created, Mamo said, after the GRTU put substantial pressure on authorities due to the precarious situation that a number of businesses had found themselves in due to the freezing of their accounts.
The Hardship Fund was meant to deal with the business’ critical expenses such as wages – the last some businesses paid in wages was in September before the accounts were frozen – taxes, rent, water and electricity, so they could keep operating.
It was specifically created to come in as an interim solution until the money is slowly released, Mamo said.
However, so far it “doesn’t seem” like any money has been released from the fund, Mamo said. The GRTU had wished that the fund would begin helping businesses around the festive period so that at the very least salaries could be paid prior to Christmas however, Mamo said, this has not been the case.
She said that she could not understand why the process was taking so long, noting that there are no questions of checks or due diligence processes: “they’re very straightforward transactions”, she said.
The hardship fund was made available as of 26 November 2018 to corporate clients of Satabank with employees residing in Malta, and who have:
• Paid operating expenses through their Satabank account on previous occasions;
• Sufficient funds with Satabank to cover the requested bridge loan; and
• A substantive nexus to the Maltese economy.