The group, which consists of people affected by the closure of Maltese bank Satabank, plans to send a newsletter to millions of people across Europe to warn them against doing business in Malta.
Satabank saw all of its accounts frozen in October by the Malta Financial Services Authority (MFSA) after the regulator and the government’s anti-money laundering arm, the Financial Intelligence Analysis Unit, found shortcomings at the bank.
A Facebook group called Victims of Satabank was set up for those affected by the closure, to share information about the impact on customers and companies who were unable to do business in Malta or overseas, or make and receive payments
Some of the members have now formed an action group and created a website where they are planning to reveal the difficulties members have experienced and how they have suffered as a result of the “shameful management” of the situation.
A countdown clock on the website shows that the information will be revealed on Monday 10 December 2018. The website only has basic information and does not explain why the delay in sending out the information.
“Satabank is a Maltese bank that stopped working on 22/10/2018. MFSA has forced the closure by blocking more than 10,000 company accounts causing thousands of companies to fail. It is the second bank in two years that closes and causes damage to companies by freezing the innocent accounts,” the website states.
Another Maltese bank that was recently shutdown was Pilatus Bank, which had its licence withdrawn by the European Central Bank in November 2018. Opened just four years ago, the island’s financial inspectors started investigating Pilatus in 2016 for anti-money laundering issues.
The Malta Financial Services Authority (MFSA) released a public notice stating that from 26 November 2018, Satabank would start contacting Malta-based customers to release their deposits starting with with private accounts holding balances between €50 and €15,000. The banks was also sorting out arrangements to contact non-Malta resident customers.
Customers will be able to receive the entire balance held in their account. However, there was no mention of arrangements for corporate account holders.
International Adviser reached out to the MFSA for comment, but the regulator had not replied at the time of publication.
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The victims group website added: “With the help of various advertising companies, we will let the story know to over 50,000 European companies, who have shown interest in transferring their business to Malta and in addition to this, we will also bring this news to over five million European citizens.”
The group’s aim is to address European citizens, companies and all those that expressed a desire to start doing business in Malta and expose the risks and challenges that the ‘victims’ have faced as a consequence of doing so.
Following the launch of the website, The ‘Victims of Satabank’ Facebook page was made private.