The Malta Financial Services Authority (MFSA) has today announced that it has formally filed with the European Central Bank (ECB) a recommendation for the withdrawal of Pilatus Bank’s banking licence.
The recommendation for the withdrawal of the licence has been made on the following grounds:
Indictment of the Ultimate Beneficial Owner (UBO):
In March 2018, Mr Ali Sadr Hashemi Nejad, the sole and ultimate beneficial owner (UBO) of Pilatus Bank was indicted in the United States in relation to allegations of financial criminal offences. As a result of this indictment, the MFSA is no longer satisfied that the UBO is a suitable person as required by the Banking Act,
2. The MFSA has been monitoring the bank closely and notes that the bank has been persistently breaching the liquidity coverage required by law since the indictment of the UBO.
The assets within the bank remain frozen in line with the sanctions imposed by the MFSA on 21 March 2018. The MFSA will continue to take all necessary actions to protect those assets until the results of the ongoing joint MFSA/FIAU investigation into alleged money laundering at the bank are completed. Furthermore, the MFSA will now wait for the ECB’s assessment of the MFSA’s recommendation before proceeding with any further actions.