Maltese regulator elects five new governors

The Maltese Financial Services Authority (MFSA) has this week elected a series of new officials to its board, representing a top-level restructure of the organization which has shown interest over recent years in developing Malta as a region for retail FX companies to establish European operations alongside Cyprus.

Central Bank governor Josef Bonnici, former Labour MP Joseph Brincat, economist John Consiglio, banker and former FIAU deputy chairman Herbert Zammit Laferla, former Air Malta group head Frans Camilleri, along with university lecturer Lauren Ellul have been selected to sit on the MFSA board.

The former members of the board were Albert Attard, Louise Ellul Cachia Caruana, Anton Felice, Cynthia Scerri Debono and Frank Xerri de Caro.

Mr. Bonnici retains his position on the MFSA board, whilst MFSA chairman Joe Bannister’s term was extended by five years after his contract expired in December 2013.

The decision was taken around the same time that Professor Bannister was asked to mediate between the government and the Opposition on the controversial Individual Investor Program.

During the middle of this week, LeapRate reported that following accusations the MFSA has been ineffective in conducting on-site inspections of Maltese Cross, a firm which failed resulting in the loss of some €6 million in clients’ investments.

The Police intervened in September 2014, citing company director Jean Claude Bugeja of money laundering and fraud, with claimants stating that the sale of Island Brokers to Bugeja, who subsequently renamed the company to Maltese Cross, should have given rise to investigations by the MFSA.

Instead of seeking to restitute client money or participate fully in the prosecution procedure, the MSFA transferred the responsibility to PriceWaterhouseCoopers (PwC), the professional services company which signed off Maltese Cross’ annual financial returns.


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