Industry’s banking concerns discussed in meeting between PM and GRTU
The Malta Chamber of SME’s (GRTU) stated that there is an unprecedented situation happening with regards to businesses and banking: clients find it difficult to understand how they can open a business in Malta but cannot have a Maltese bank account. This is resulting in a loss of business, stressed GRTU president Paul Abela.
In a meeting with Prime Minister Joseph Muscat and Parliamentary Secretary for Financial Services, Digital Economy and Innovation Silvio Schembri, corporate services representatives explained the challenge doing business has become. This is due to the current situation in the Maltese banking sector.
According to GRTU, the fact that clients can open a business in Malta but cannot have a Maltese bank account is leading investors to question Malta’s reputation. Investors have now started to question if it is worth investing in Malta.
It added that opening a bank account shouldn’t take close to a year, particularly for sectors that are considered low risk. It deemed the banking sector as lacking. This is because clients and members who traditionally did business with the local banks are being turned away and asked to close their accounts.
During the meeting, GRTU highlighted the need for additional banks to operate in Malta as this will ease the current deadlock. Moreover GRTU emphasized on the need of a more harmonized application procedure amongst local banks in order to structure the process and make it accessible and clear to all.