Catering company goes to court demanding Satabank release its savings

Last month the MFSA ordered all accounts at the bank frozen after shortcomings were discovered in the bank’s anti-money laundering procedures

Accounts held by the bank were frozen by the MFSA last month
Accounts held by the bank were frozen by the MFSA last month

The owner of a catering company based in Zebbug has filed a judicial protest against Satabank and the MFSA this morning, demanding the bank release his money.

Accounts at the bank were effectively frozen by the MFSA last month after a joint inspection and audit by the MFSA and FIAU had found shortcomings in the bank’s anti-money laundering procedures. The bank was directed not to accept any further deposits or new customers pending the investigation and a “competent person” has been entrusted with taking charge of the bank’s assets.

The bank is reported to hold around €300 million in customer deposits, none of which can currently be accessed by the account holders.

One of the customers, Pasti e Pasta Ltd of Zebbug has today filed a judicial protest before the First Hall of the Civil Court, asking to be allowed to withdraw the company’s money. Despite never being involved in any illegalities, Pasti e Pasta were effectively being indefinitely deprived of access to their funds saved with Satabank, said the company’s lawyer Anthony Farrugia.

There are no grounds for regulatory action of any nature against the company and therefore any obstacle to its free access to its funds was “entirely illegal and in breach of the undersigned’s right to private property,” argued the protest. which was addressed to both the bank and the MFSA.

The gratuitous withholding of the protestant’s money was causing it to incur damages, said the company, formally requesting the bank to immediately release and grant unhindered access to his funds.