Malta’s Pussycat Regulator FIAU Issues Token Fine Against HSBC Bank Malta

FIAU Malta over-fined individuals and organizations
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Being very strong with the weak and very weak with the strong” was the criticism launched towards Malta’s FIAU by various professionals, international media, and institutions. After firing hefty fines against small operators, including advocates and notary public, the FIAU, headed by Kenneth Farrugia and Alfred Zammit, recently came up with a token fine against HSBC Bank Malta. The fine considered a joke by international media is just €83,000. FIAU has earned the reputation as a “Pussycat Regulator.

HSBC Bank Malta, an international bank with an annual turnover running into hundreds of millions of euros, has been fined for allegedly breaching anti-money laundering rules. The fine issued in December 2022 follows a compliance visit held by FIAU in an offline mode in July 2020. Amongst several findings, the FIAU claims the bank failed to adequately document the reason behind a €2 million transaction by one of its customers.

A series of court cases have been filed in Malta courts against the FIAU, including a constitutional case by Lombard Bank. This case is soon coming to a close, with a decision expected early next year.

Testimony in court has not been referred to by FIAU in any of its statements so far. The court testimony revealed that Calamatta Cuschieri, who also operates Moneybase, was handling huge amounts of cash for convicted criminals. The FIAU has remained silent when asked about the business carried out by Alan Cuschieri and Nick Calamatta.

Malta’s FIAU list of executives includes Rudolf Muscat and Kristina Arbociute, who did attract negative publicity due to their acts.

CategoriesFIAU Malta

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