Richard Galea Debono appointed Satabank controller

2018 FIAU revelations had found serious breaches in money-laundering laws by Satabank, resulting in a record €3 million fine

The Malta Financial Services Authority has appointed Richard Galea Debono to act as controller and assume control of Satabank plc in order to wind up and liquidate company assets.

Satabank had been operating a high-risk for several years, taking on clients with suspected organised crime links and money laundering intentions. In 2018 revelations from the FIAU found that the bank was in serious potential breaches of money-laundering laws, and were slapped with a record €3 million fine courtesy of the FIAU.

READ ALSO: FIAU fines Satabank €3.5 million over regulatory breaches

Ernst & Young (EY) were the previous competent person appointed by the Authority. They had received their appointment in October 2018 with the aim of advising and monitoring Satabank on proper business conduct.  The appointment terminated on 30 October 2020, with Dr Galea Debono taking their place.  

Last July Satabank saw its license revoked by the European Central Bank following a recommendation from the MFSA. Former MFSA CEO Joseph Cuschieri had said that the Satabank involved heavy coordination between the FIAU, MFSA and Central Bank of Malta.

The police were also brought in to help with investigations, with billions of euros estimated to have passed through Satabank’s payment channels.

READ ALSO: Satabank licence withdrawn after bank placed under control