Pilatus Bank expelled from Malta Bankers’ Association

Association said it would be terminating Pilatus Bank’s membership following MFSA regulatory action

The Malta Bankers' Association has terminated Pilatus Bank's membership at the association
The Malta Bankers' Association has terminated Pilatus Bank's membership at the association

Pilatus Bank has had its membership of the Malta Bankers’ Association terminated with immediate effect, the association said today.

After noting with concern the regulatory action taken in Pilatus Bank’s respect by the Malta Financial Service Authority in the past weeks, the MBA, which is a co-ordinating and lobbying body for bankers, said it had considered its position and ended the bank’s membership.

The decision comes after the MFSA issued an order to remove Pilatus Bank’s chairman Ali Sadr Hashemi Nejad - who was arrested in the United States on 21 March - from the position of director of the bank, and any executive roles and voting rights he held within the bank.

Hashemi Nejad, 38, is facing up to 125 year in prison on accusations of having participated in a scheme to evade US sanctions and funnel more than $115 million paid under a Venezuelan construction contract through the US financial system.

The MFSA has taken charge of all Pilatus Bank assets and directed the bank to obtain its approval before effecting any movement of the bank’s assets.

The financial regulator had also stopped all the bank's transactions, including withdrawals or deposits, and placed the bank under the controllership of Lawrence Connell, a former US financial regulator 

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