A public quarrel between the Malta Financial Services Authority’s (MFSA) chief executive and its chief operating officer ended with the latter being sacked and the former putting himself in the firing line of his own board, local newspaper the Times of Malta reported.
Last week, Reuben Fenech was fired but it seems that his boss, Joseph Cuschieri, is offering him an undisclosed sum as compensation for leaving.
This sparked outrage from MFSA director Joseph Brincat who has filed an unprecedented judicial letter against Cuschieri, saying that the money is not his to give away.
Brincat labelled the move a “crime” as the public funds administered by Cuschieri “should have been used for specific purposes not as a blank cheque for you”.
He also threatened the chief executive that if the so-called golden handshake is to go ahead, he would take the matter forward and will not take any responsibility for Cuschieri’s “illegal” actions.
But this incident does not appear to be related to the series of golden handshakes given to top officials of the MFSA in March 2019.
This is because, unlike the others, Fenech was not eligible for early retirement.
The regulator is now expected to reply to Brincat’s judicial protest.
Any mention of Fenech has been deleted from the MFSA’s website.
A spokesperson for the MFSA told International Adviser: “The Malta Financial Services Authority has taken note of the judicial letter filed by one of the governors of the Authority.
“The Authority does not consider it appropriate to comment publicly on the ongoing matters referred to by the said governor. However, the Authority wishes to make it clear that funds administered by it, are and will continue to be used exclusively in the exercise of its functions and operations.
“Needless to say, the board shall remain focused on the implementation of its vision and strategy.”