BOV Puts Ethics In The Limelight

“Ethics are the backbone of sound working relationships amongst colleagues and with customers.”

Ethics is deemed to be as old as humanity itself but how has the digital arena impacted the relevance of ethics in today’s workplace? This was the question that Bank of Valletta’s Ethics team put forward to challenge its people and encourage them to reflect more about ethics during the month of October joining other organisations worldwide in celebrating Global Ethics Day 2022.

Empowering Ethics across the Bank

Various initiatives were organised and teams from across the Bank were invited to submit their entries on the theme of ‘Empowering Ethics across the Bank’. As Ms Simone Dimech from the Group’s Ethics function explained, the entries submitted underlined the range of perspectives and breath of interpretations to which ethics lend themselves. The best entry was awarded to the Project & Quality Management team within the Supervisory Reporting Unit demonstrated different aspects of ethics in action. The PMO Office within the Bank’s Digital, Strategy & Transformation Team were the runners up. They put ethics by design into the limelight.

Panel Discussion

The highlight event was an online panel discussion that took place on Global Ethics Day that falls on the 19th October. The panellist were probed to discuss their views about the relevance of ethics in the digital era we are living in. Speakers included Dr Gordon Cordina (BOV Chairman), Mr Kenneth Farrugia (CEO), Anatoli Grech (Group Chief Compliance Officer), Mr Ludwig Mallia (Head Digital Factory and Channels) and guest speaker Tony Micallef, who is a professional in Business Ethics. The session was moderated by Ms Laverne Calleja Pace from the Group’s Ethics function.

Mr Micallef set the scene, highlighting the fact that ethics go beyond the law, asking the individual to choose to do the right thing.

The impact of Ethics on the Bank’s success

Discussing the implications of ethics for the Bank’s success, Mr Kenneth Farrugia explained, “Simply put, ethics is about doing what’s right and fair. It is about the moral compass of every employee and customer”. He went on to explain that once ethics is embedded in the organisation, it will strengthen ties with customers and will also shape the way customers look at the Bank. “Good ethics is our backbone, supporting customer relationships built on trust.” Speaking about the future of ethics within BOV, the Bank’s newly appointed CEO emphasized the importance of setting the tone particularly in relation to the digital paradigm. “As we evolve we must ensure that ethical principles remain ingrained in our processes and operations. We need to use metrics to determine how changes we are implementing are impacting the trust of our customers. Ultimately it is about ownership.”

Setting the Tone from the top

Likewise, Dr Cordina’s intervention homed in on the importance of “encouraging inclusiveness in the provision of feedback, ideas and opinions.” He explained that as a company, we need to regulate our behaviour and outcomes at the place of work, and this requires us to ground our decisions in ethical principles. “Having integrity as a Bank means that we are consistent and undivided in our behaviour.” Dr Cordina also highlighted the importance of the BOV culture because, “our people are moulded in ethical principles and integrity through the BOV culture.”

The Code of Conduct & Ethics

Mr Anatoli Grech reflected on the role of the Bank’s Code of Conduct, saying, “The Bank’s Code of Conduct & Ethics is key to the Bank’s success, which is measured in terms of its sustainability. The Code is not meant to be a fixed set of rules, but a document that provides general guidance.” In this context, Mr Grech explained that the success of the Code depends on the extent to which every employee uses his best judgement, especially when faced with difficult work situations.

Digital Ethics

In his intervention, Mr Mallia sought to explain how ethics and digitalization dove-tail. “We need to provide customers with the optimal experience, without allowing for doubt about our ethical practices.” He mentioned the use of data and digital algorithms that are sometimes used instead of human thinking. “Algorithms need to be nurtured to ensure that no bias is built into them.”

To this effect, the Bank’s Digital Team is looking into the setting up of a digital ethics committee to ensure continuous auditing and human supervision in process design, identifying issues at an early stage.

Whilst thanking BOV employees for their keen participation in the initiatives organised, and the teams from Ethics and Compliance for the professionalism and dedication shown, Mr Kenneth Farrugia reiterated that, “Ethics are the backbone of sound working relationships amongst colleagues and with customers.” He urged BOV employees to keep abreast with developments and guidelines, whilst keeping the conversation about ethics alive.

The Malta Chamber And Convera Sign Bronze Collaboration Agreement

The aim of the signing is that of driving discussion within policy areas which are relevant to digital payment solutions.

The Malta Chamber of Commerce, Enterprise and Industry have signed a bronze collaboration agreement with Convera with the aim of driving discussion within policy areas which are relevant to digital payment solutions.

Marisa Xuereb, The Malta Chamber President said that, “with technology being one of our five main pillars, The Malta Chamber is proud to be partnering with digitalisation champions such as Convera to push digital payments as a true enabler which drives the industry forward.”

She explained that The Malta Chamber will now be better equipped to take a more prominent and proactive role within the business sphere by promoting areas of safe, secure and reliable online business trading.

Mr Mark Anthony Camilleri, Malta Country Head at Convera, said “Our aim is to help companies navigate global payments so that they can focus on growing their business with confidence. Formerly known as Western Union Business Solutions, Convera is pleased to once again partner with The Malta Chamber to serve and support the preparedness of local businesses to grow internationally.”

The Bronze Collaboration Agreement was signed by Marisa Xuereb and Christopher Vassallo Cesareo as President and Deputy President of The Malta Chamber, respectively, and Mark Anthony Camilleri, Country Manager and Executive Director at Convera.

EU Employers Welcome Commission’s Decision To Introduce A Competitiveness Check In EU Policy And Law-Making

“It is clear that every effort must be made to ensure that we protect and enhance the competitiveness of our economy and such a check will indeed assist in this effort”.

The EESC Employers’ Group, BusinessEurope, SMEunited and SGI Europe welcomed the decision of Commission President Ursula von der Leyen to introduce a competitiveness check in all future EU policies and legislative proposals. The introduction of a competitiveness check was announced by the Commission President on Wednesday 19 October in the European Parliament and the Tripartite Social Summit.

The Employers’ organisations have been calling for such an instrument for the past two years, notably in the context of the Conference on the Future of Europe. In fact, the idea was included in the CoFoE final report as one of the measures on proposal 12 on Enhancing EU’s competitiveness and further deepening the Single Market, which states “New EU policy initiatives should undergo a “competitiveness check” to analyse their impact on companies and their business environment.”

At a time of considerable preoccupation regarding the future growth prospects of the European Economy, European enterprises are facing very difficult times, with high inflation rates coupled by high energy costs. This is putting into jeopardy the very survival of thousands of enterprises across the EU.

Stefano Mallia, President of the EESC Employers’ Group said:
“It is clear that every effort must be made to ensure that we protect and enhance the competitiveness of our economy and such a check will indeed assist in this effort”.

Moreover, Markus Beyrer, Director General at BusinessEurope said:
“We are convinced that to maintain and enhance the competitiveness of EU big and small enterprises we must always assess the impact of all EU initiatives on companies and their business environment”.

Valeria Ronzitti, SGI Europe General Secretary, was keen to emphasise that:
“If well-designed, such an instrument will in no way undermine the protection of human, social and workers’ rights nor environmental and consumer protection standards, rather it would boost growth prospects and prosperity, eliminating obstacles and administrative burden”.

Veronique Willems, SMEunited Secretary General, said:
“We must do everything possible to allow our SMEs to increase their competitiveness in the Single Market and globally, therefore this should be a key consideration whenever we decide to introduce new legislation”.

The Employers’ organisations concluded by saying that they look forward to engaging with the European Commission in the development and implementation of the proposed Competitiveness check.

A Budget That Preserves Our Current Economic Model – The Malta Chamber

Bolder measures needed for a more sustainable economic growth model

It is evident that Government is using all the financial resources it has available to maintain stable energy prices and to safeguard the spending power of lower income groups against the backdrop of persistent inflation. This is essentially a policy of preservation of our economy – with all its strengths and weaknesses. We would have liked to see more ambition with respect to sustainability beyond the continuation of existing schemes for the purchase of electric vehicles. We would also have liked to see more tangible support with respect to innovation and new economic niches that can guarantee sustainable economic growth.

It is positive to note that Government acknowledges that in spite of all the investment in roads and free public transport, traffic congestion has not improved and is therefore seeking to engage with stakeholders to limit circulation of certain service vehicles before 9am. Similarly, it is encouraging to see The Malta Chamber’s proposal for the establishment of a Board for the assessment of quality and aesthetics features of new developments taken on board. These two relatively minor proposals are examples that can improve the quality of life of people. The bulk of proposals are actually directed at maintaining spending power rather than improving quality of life. While subsidising energy and maintaining spending power is good for business, the country needs a longer-term strategy to be future-ready.

The financial projections presented rely on Government’s ability to raise funds through the issue of Government stocks and presume a modest negative impact on our exports against the prospect of a looming recession in Europe. The extent to which a recession in Europe will impact our manufactured exports as well as tourism will be a determining factor for the performance of our economy in 2023.

Launch Of The Post-Doctoral Fellowship Scheme 2022

This scheme will help bridge the gap between the skills that one obtains from University and the needs of the local industry

The Malta Chamber of Commerce, Enterprise and Industry, together with the University of Malta and Parliamentary Secretariat for Youth, Research and Innovation Launched the Post-Doctoral Fellowship Scheme 2022.

The objective of this scheme is to offer opportunity to students who graduated with a doctorate to join local businesses to conduct research. Hence, students who obtained their doctorates both locally and abroad, will have the chance to put what they have learned into practice with the aim of helping the local industry while gaining the necessary experience.

The President of The Malta Chamber, Ms Marisa Xuereb, said that “The Malta Chamber has mentioned time and time again about the lack of skills within the local market and the need to raise productivity. Research, with the help of technology, increases productivity with the aim of offering a better product with more efficiency and less spending. This scheme will help bridge the gap between the skills that one obtains from University and the needs of the local industry, while creating more collaboration between the University and employers. The ultimate aim of such schemes is to help the industry explore new niches.”

The Rector of the University of Malta, Prof. Alfred Vella reiterated that “the Post-Doctoral Fellowship Scheme will provide a much-needed opportunity for the University of Malta to work closely with The Malta Chamber and the Parliamentary Secretariat with the aim of implementing various projects for research and innovation which leave a strong impact in the local industry. We are pleased to welcome this opportunity to increase the number of post-doctoral students from University who carry out quality research projects relevant to the Maltese economy.”

The Parliamentary Secretary for Youth, Research and Innovation, Keith Azzopardi Tanti stressed the importance of such collaborations, while repeating that “despite the economic difficulties that the world is facing at this moment, the Maltese Government is continuing to invest in research and education sectors by raising more interest from graduate students who contribute to the industrial sector of our country. Through this budget measure that came into force, the Government is giving an incentive to the local industry so that, together with local researchers, they expand their products and services, thus increasing -business and competitiveness in the international market.”

The Post Doctorate Fellowship Scheme is open to students who have just obtained their doctorate and who with the help of the University wish to collaborate with local businesses, as well as to those businesses who already employ local researchers and who show the desire to carry out a research project. Each selected project will be financed with a maximum of €60,000 per year for each researcher, which can be extended for a period of two years.

For more information visit this link or send an email to

Applications can be downloaded from the same site and are open until 18 November 2022 at 12pm.

We Care – We Act For The Environment

PT Matic Environmental Services Ltd. (PTM) is a leading provider of environmental and waste handling services.

Asbestos Removal

When it comes to asbestos, there is only one name that should come to mind, PT Matic Environmental Services Ltd.
With years of experience and being the only local company with all the necessary permits and insurances for both the removal and the eventual export for treatment PT Matic has become synonymous with asbestos removal both from commercial properties and from households.
Given the danger this material can cause, do not waste time and call the experts to keep your life and family safe.

Confidential Shredding

PT Matic has been entrusted throughout the years by clients in various industries, be it financial institutions, government entities, insurance companies etc, to securely shred and dispose of their confidential waste.
Be it loose paper, files, books, Hard Disk drives or mobile phones, PT Matic has all the solutions to securely dispose of the waste.

Hazardous Waste Management

PT Matic Environmental Services Ltd, is your one stop shop for the disposal of any hazardous waste that might be present in your premises. Be it waste oils, chemicals, contaminated materials or clinical waste, PT Matic has all the required permits and insurances to handle this waste in an environmentally friendly manner and according to the local and European legislations.
Get in touch today with our sales department to create your ad-hoc hazardous waste collections and treatment.

Oil Spill Clean Up

Accidents occur and that is why you need to have experts readily available to assist once these things happen.
PT Matic’s trained environmental technicians are equipped with the necessary equipment and environmentally friendly absorbing materials to contain and clean any kind of spill that might occur on land.

Tank Cleaning

Be it cleaning of fuel tanks, storage tanks and any other confined space that might require cleaning for change of use or any other certification, you should trust in no one except the professionals.
PT Matic’s environmental technicians are trained and certified to access and clean these spaces using the required chemicals and additives as required to be able to certify the tank clean.

RSM Malta And Bureau Veritas Sign A Strategic Partnership Agreement To Offer ESG Advisory Services

The partnership aims to usher in a renewed collaboration within Malta’s business community toward achieving common ESG goals.

On the 30th of September, during an official launch, RSM Malta and Bureau Veritas signed a Memorandum of Understanding for the joint provision of ESG (Environmental, Social, and Governance) advisory services.

Representatives of Malta’s leading organisations attended the event, which was addressed by Mr George Gregory (Managing Principal, RSM Malta), Ms Vanessa D’Amato (Managing Director, Bureau Veritas), Mr Steve Ellul (Ministry for the Environment, Energy and Enterprise) and Mr Mikolaj Potocki (Sustainability Business Unit Manager, Bureau Veritas).

The partnership between the two firms aims to usher in a renewed collaboration within Malta’s business community toward achieving common ESG goals. “By forging this strategic partnership, we are combining RSM’s expertise and knowledge in the social and governance areas with Bureau Veritas’ extensive specialisation in the environmental field. Both parties believe that synergies can be attained by combining our core competencies to service our clients better,” said Mr Gregory during his address.

Ms D’Amato highlighted “The reality of the matter is that the services we are discussing today have been around for a significant number of years – climate change, human rights infringements, good governance, or the lack of, have been apparent to all for many a year – but now is the time to change and inflict change in the most effective and efficient manner possible and this is why we stand before you today – two reputable companies joining forces to deliver services that will enable you to meet the challenges of safety, the environment, social responsibility and a good quality of product and service.”

In his address, Mr Steve Ellul made reference to the global climate change crisis and why it is important that collectively we take action. He highlighted the numerous initiatives that the Ministry for the Environment, Energy and Enterprise has embarked on and emphasised the importance of alliances, like the one between RSM and Bureau Veritas, aimed at combining expertise to achieve the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals..

Mr Potocki delivered a presentation highlighting the ESG services available to companies through the strategic partnership between RSM Malta and Bureau Veritas Malta. The event was concluded with a networking breakfast.

BOV Staff Attend Training On Future Of Risk Management

BOV personnel took to the stage to share their knowledge and expertise on a wide range of topics

Safeguarding the Bank during uncertain times and the future of Risk Management were the subjects discussed during a five-day internal staff training conference organised by the Bank.

Various speakers from the University of Malta, McKinsey, Deloitte, ESG Alliance, Grant Thornton, Avant Garde, BDO Chapelle Consulting, and BOV personnel took to the stage to share their knowledge and expertise on a wide range of topics. Self-care sessions focusing on mindfulness and mental well-being were also on the agenda.


Conference participants challenged their Climate Change knowhow during an ESG quiz entitled “Climate Change: A Global Jenga Game”. The quiz was designed by the Bank’s ESG Unit with the assistance of the Julian’s Pathfinder Foundation, a foundation supported by the Bank aimed at supporting gifted children in reaching their full potential.

Bank’s Chairman Dr Gordon Cordina, Director Alfred Mifsud, CEO Kenneth Farrugia and Chief Risk Officer Miguel Borg spoke about the challenges and opportunities of emerging technologies and climate change on the Bank’s strategy and operations. Miguel Borg, Chief Risk Officer, said: “Our full line-up of speakers made excellent additions to the conference as the team discussed agile risk management, climate change, artificial intelligence, digitalisation and various other topics of interest to the Bank and the Maltese economy.”

We Need To Start Investing In Sectors Which Render Real Substance To Our Economy – Dr Marthese Portelli

Dr Portelli also spoke about skills, labour market, economies of scale and the importance of having a unique selling proposition

During this year’s Malta Future Realised Conference, organised by EY Malta, Dr Marthese Portelli, The Malta Chamber CEO, participated in a panel discussion and highlighted 5 key national priorities:

– Malta’s Attractiveness
– USP Differentiation
– Labour Market
– Skills
– Economies of Scale


EY’s Attractiveness Survey stated that 71% find Malta attractive based on our corporate taxation regime. Although we do not have a precise timeline when and if it will be introduced, we should assume it will happen and we need to start investing in sectors which render real substance to our economy.


We need to differentiate ourselves by having a Unique Selling Proposition. We can remain attractive for FDIs, not just in terms of tax, but in order to do this we must ensure that important factors such as the availability of talent, transport, connectivity and our urban and natural environment are given the attention needed.


We must address the issue of our tight labour market to attract the right foreign talent and retain them. This can be achieved by improving our the Key Employment Initiative and improving the process of family relocation to render Malta attractive for work.


Skills remain a key enabler for growth. We should be looking beyond academic qualifications and formal education. We need to invest in soft skills – aptitude and attitude.


Malta remains a micro island state and this puts us at a disadvantage with other countries that have large economies of scale. Because of our size, it is difficult to attain critical mass needed in most sectors in order to be able to be competitive. This needs to be taken in consideration whatever the future outcome on harmonised corporate tax will be.

The panel, which was moderated by Rachel Attard, Head of Media and Communication Strategy at The Malta Chamber, discussed how Malta’s can maintain its FDI Attractiveness in a Changing World (Taxation, Value-Chain Disruption).