HSBC must pull out of Malta, warns MEP
HSBC must close its business in Malta if the tiny European Union state with a reputation for a lax approach to financial regulation does not do more to confront the scourge of money laundering, a leading MEP has warned.
The threat to launch a potentially damaging publicity campaign against HSBC’S continued presence in Malta could raise fresh questions over the sincerity of the bank’s efforts to restore its reputation after a series of scandals and compliance failures.
Sven Giegold, a German MEP with a reputation for fierce campaigning on financial transparency issues, promised to turn his fire on HSBC if the Maltese government did not take more action to tighten up regulations.
“If I don’t see a change in attitude, backed up by demonstrable action, I will launch a campaign calling for HSBC to quit the island,” he told The
Telegraph. Mr Giegold, who was a member of the European Parliament’s committee of inquiry into money laundering and tax evasion, was speaking after a visit to Malta earlier this month, which he described as “disappointing”.
Malta’s financial services authority, the MFSA, has been under pressure from Brussels after a European Banking Authority report found “general and systematic shortcomings” in how Malta applies money-laundering rules.