The scandal-ridden Maltese regulators are apparently trying to settle the filling of the top posts among themselves. The last attempt to steer the MFSA into serious waters with Irishman Joseph Gavin after the resignation of the disgraced Joseph Cuschieri failed. In August 2022, Gavin said goodbye with a nice financial package. Michelle Mizzi Buontempo became interim CEO. Current FIAU director Kenneth Farrugia has been appointed as the incoming MFSA CEO.
The Board of Governors of the MFSA has appointed Kenneth Farrugia as Chief Executive Officer, effective 12 April 2023.
The MFSA Board said that the changes in the leadership of the regulator that took place over the last years were not beneficial. The Board also said that the previous international call for applications for the position of Chief Executive Officer had not benefited the Authority to the desired extent. It agreed that a public call for applications for the post of Chief Executive Officer would not be in the best interests of the Authority at this point in time.
The Board concluded that Kenneth Farrugia has the required skills and proven leadership to provide the necessary impetus to implement the changes and reforms the organization requires going forward.
From a bird’s eye view, Kenneth Farrugia‘s achievements at FIAU are very modest. During his time at the FIAU, Malta was greylisted by the FATF because of latent money laundering problems. Furthermore, only recently, the Maltese Constitutional Court found that the conduct of the FIAU violated the Maltese Constitution. Penalties already imposed had to be annulled (report here).
However. Malta remains Malta remains Malta. An EU member with a touch of a banana republic.