Activities of Nemea Bank restricted due to regulatory shortcomings

A number of shortcomings in the way that the Malta-based Nimea Bank is being managed has led the European Central Bank to  appoint an administrator to control all of the bank’s assets.

Informed sources said that the bank has €60 million in deposits. The same sources explained that the small investors are protected by Government guarantees.

In a statement, the Malta Financial Services Authority (MFSA) said that it has engaged the auditors PricewaterhouseCoopers Malta (PwC) to safeguard the bank’s clients.

Nimea Bank belongs to its two founders from Finland, Heikki Niemelä and Mika Lehto. The bank’s directors are former PM  Lawrence Gonzi, financier Joseph F.X.Zahra and the bank’s two founders.

The Authority said that the measures were taken after an inspection was carried out at the bank which is based at Portomaso towers. It said that the inspection by the officials from the European Central Bank identified a number of regulatory shortcomings and it had therefore decided to take action in order to protect those who had deposited their money at the bank, as well as other creditors.

The Authority said that it was necessary to appoint the auditors PwC to control the bank’s assets and to take over the administration of the bank.

It said that these precautionary measures will stay in force until MFSA gives further directives. The Authority also ordered the bank not to accept further deposits while no more than €500 could be withdrawn at one time.