The new offices of Bank of Valletta on the 2nd and 3rd floor of Centris Business Gateway in Mriehel were officially inaugurated on Friday 27 October.
Prime Minister Joseph Muscat inaugurated the premises, with BOV Chairman Deo Scerri, CEO Mario Mallia, Parliamentary Secretary for Financial Services Silvio Schembri, representatives from the Bank’s Board of Directors and the Bank’s Management Board in attendance.
“The Centre we are inaugurating today is proof of the resilience of the financial services industry in Malta, and of Bank of Valletta’s strength. Though these offices will not be customer-facing, the people working here have an important role to play because they are actively involved in the regulatory environment that exerts significant pressure on this industry, and is onerous, not only in Malta, but across Europe,” Dr Muscat said.
He expressed his confidence that Malta’s reputation in the banking sector will continue to grow from strength to strength, because this is a resilient industry, and said that Bank of Valletta had an active role to play in the economy.
The offices will be housing four functions, namely the bank’s Risk Management Division, Compliance, Anti-Financial Crime and Debt Management Unit. “All of these units are of strategic importance, and have evolved from peripheral units into key units within the Bank’s organisation structure over the past years. Currently there are about 100 employees reporting here,” explained Mr Scerri. “The importance of these functions grew as the bank was recognised to be of systemic importance, having a direct impact of the Maltese economy.”
The bank’s Risk Management function guides its Management Board vis-à-vis its risk appetite framework, whilst being responsible for the on-going monitoring of the risk levels across a number of business areas with a view to retain a balance between efficient business generation and acceptable levels of risk. The Debt Management Unit is responsible to manage those facilities that show signs of deterioration with a view to managing the bank’s non-performing loans and their speedy recovery. In a further bid to improve its controls, 2016 saw Bank of Valletta setting up a dedicated Anti-Financial Crime Unit, separate from its Compliance function, so that both areas could develop further their knowledge base, whilst ensuring they are well-equipped to meet regulatory challenges.
“Today’s event shows that the bank is enhancing its efforts so that it ensures that an adequate balance is reached the bank’s dual goal of developing the business and increasing profitability on the one hand, and maintaining strong capital buffers and monitoring risk on the other hand. The upcoming equity issue fits into the bank’s long-term vision towards maintaining this balance, enabling BOV Group to continue servicing the Maltese economy whilst protecting the group’s long-term sustainability,” concluded Mr Scerri.
Mr Scerri and Mr Mallia thanked the employees for their hard work and dedication, claiming that they are the foundation of the Bank’s success.