Bank of Valletta’s CEO, Mario Mallia, said in an interview with The Sunday Times of Malta yesterday that he is “quietly confident” the bank will find a replacement for ING, the Dutch bank that announced it will be ending its corresponding banking relationship with BOV.
ING was Bank of Valletta’s last remaining provider of US dollar transactions, and made the move as a result of a de-risking exercise. The news was confirmed by BOV last week.
In the interview, Mr Mallia disproved claims that BOV’s anti-money laundering laws are lax, and vowed that the bank will be “put its money where its mouth is” and invest millions to beef up its anti-money laundering protection.
“BOV is trying to set the standards for Malta when it comes to fighting money laundering. We are very much conscious of our responsibility towards the jurisdiction. That is why we are investing such large amounts to make BOV and the jurisdiction a much safer place.”
As for whether there will be a replacement for ING, Mr Mallia said, “We have reasons to be optimistic, although I cannot give any guarantees at this stage. We are seeing interest. There is also a Plan B and a Plan C.”