Paradise Papers | MFSA chief Bannister never declared foreign company directorship

Outgoing MFSA chairman Joseph Bannister denies any suggestion of conflict of interest, afte Paradise Paper reveal directorship of offshore BVI firm linked to Russian mining venture

MFSA chairman Prof. Joseph V. Bannister
MFSA chairman Prof. Joseph V. Bannister

Malta’s long-serving boss of its financial regulator, Prof. Joseph V. Bannister, kept hidden a directorship in a British Virgin Islands company that invested in a Russian mining venture.

A data trove published by the International Consortium of International Journalists reveals emails from Bermuda law firm Appleby, that show Bannister as being part of the management of BVI firm ACP Special Situations No. 2 Limited.

ACP is an investment vehicle for ACPI, of London.

Bannister has told The Times of Malta that he was a non-executive director of the firm and that his request for resignation in 2015, was finally processed in June 2016.

But he told Le Monde that the reason he never declared this interest was because he “was never asked to”.

Bannister was appointed MFSA chairman in 1999, but Bannister says his appointment by ACPI chairman Alok Oberoi, predates his appointment.

He also said his “past involvements” came with the blessing of successive prime ministers.

Bannister was paid €500 annually to cover expenses for his role on the ACP Special Situations board, which involved attending board meetings twice annually in Jersey.

But he played down claims of conflict of interest. “Where is the conflict? There would be a conflict if the company had a connection with Malta,” He said.

As it happens, Oberoi is a director of a Malta-based company in which ACP Partners is a shareholder.

In 2012, it was revaled that Bannister was a director in Cayman Islands fund Kairos, but despite criticism from Labour MP Evarist Bartolo he was reconfirmed MFSA chairman in 2013.

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