Although Maltese authorities may feel frustrated that the largest bank in Malta, Bank of Valletta, has decided not to work with medicinal cannabis companies – i.e. those companies in the business of research and production of medicinal cannabis, the Executive Head of Malta Enterprise, Kurt Farrugia, told TVM that the effort and work for several companies to come to Malta would not unravel.
“What I can say about comments made in recent days is that there are local banks that are taking this type of investment which goes through a strong process of due diligence, and there is even a company that operates Malta – one of the best – which goes through a strong process of due diligence by Malta Enterprise before being approved. In addition European solutions are also being resorted to.”
A survey carried out by TVM shows that some of the leading companies in the Medicinal Cannabis industry do not have a problem in their relationships with major European banks such as Barclays, UBS of Switzerland, Nova Banco of Portugal, and the Spanish Santander Bank.
This contrasts with the position taken by Bank of Valletta as explained by the bank’s CEO Mario Mallia on Dissett. “We do not have the necessary skills to understand the business. If you do not understand what the business is about, how can you take risks?”
CEO of Malta Enterprise, Kurt Farrugia told TVM that some banks are still not investing enough of their time to understand this investment. “There might be some misconceptions and some banks are still not investing enough time to understand the investment that we are attracting to Malta.”
Mr Farrugia added that many European banks which have banking relationship with these companies are under the same regulatory scrutiny but are still not prevented from having a relationship with cannabis drug companies.