Satabank clients who received salary in their accounts should be prioritised, lobby group says

A newly-formed bank users association is calling on the Satabank administrator to release funds of ordinary customers who received their salaries in their account after the Malta Financial Services Authority froze the bank's operations

Satabank offices
Satabank offices

The Satabank administrator appointed by Malta's financial services watchdog should prioritise ordinary customers when determining how funds should be released, the Bank and Financial Users’ Association said.

EY was appointed by the Malta Financial Services Authority to administer Satabank after the authority imposed administrative measures and froze all accounts at the St Julians-based bank in October. The MFSA had flagged serious shortcomings and EY were appointed to administer the bank’s assets in an effort to allow the controlled release of customer deposits.

The decision has caused hardship for many ordinary customers of Satabank, most of who are foreigners working with gaming companies in the Sliema-Gzira area.

 

The bank users association has asked EY to prioritise accounts in which customers received their salaries.

“We appreciate the huge work EY is doing to check more than 5,000 customers, but we do not agree on the priorities,” a statement by the association read. 

It requested that EY’s efforts should concentrate on employees who get their salaries on a Satabank account. These accounts are to be unfrozen if the account complies with a normal employee account, the association said, adding this procedure could be carried out within 24 days.

The association also called for the unfreezing of SME accounts who have their business as their only source of profit. 

“We hope that the EY and MFSA would prioritise and protect the interests of genuine Satabank clients and release their funds immediately,” the statement said. 

ATUSBUF is an association of users and consumers with the aim of informing, promoting, assisiting and protecting the individual and collective rights of consumers and users of banking, credit and financial services. 

The recently launched association was formed in light of the Satabank ordeal. Its co-founder Francesco Trimboli said that the association is the first of its kind in Malta.

“We are not against the banks, we just want to promote and ensure legal clarity in the banking industry and in situations like these,” he said. 

More in National

Get access to the real stories first with the digital edition

Subscribe