GRTU Malta Chamber of SMEs officials and specialised industry representatives held a high level meeting with the Prime Minister Hon. Dr. Joseph Muscat and Parliamentary Secretary for Financial Services, Digital Economy and Innovation Hon. Mr. Silvio Schembri about the banking situation in Malta.
The GRTU explained the unprecedented situation businesses are experiencing in relation to the banking sector. GRTU president Paul Abela emphasized that ‘Business is being lost on a daily basis. GRTU does not expect things to go the way they were in the past but what can be helped should be helped.’
Corporate services representatives explained what a challenge doing business has become with the current situation in the Maltese banking sector, both for them and their clients. Clients find it difficult to understand why they can open a business in Malta but not have a Maltese bank account. The Banking situation is leading investors to question Malta’s reputation and investors have now started to question if it is worth investing in Malta.
The banking situation is pushing good value investment, investment that the Government and the private sector has worked hard to attract. Why should opening a bank account be close to impossible and take close to a year even for sectors that are considered low risk? The banking sector is lacking, across the board, clearly defined procedures for client onboarding and businesses cannot operate in a limbo and not know whether or when they will be given an account or refused without reason. Clients and members who traditionally did business with the local banks are now being turned away and asked to close their accounts.
During the meeting GRTU highlighted the need for additional banks to operate in Malta as this will ease the current deadlock. Moreover GRTU emphasized on the need of a more harmonized application procedure amongst local banks in order to structure the process and make it accessible and clear to all.