The La Valette Multi Manager Property Fund
AUGUST 23, 2011

The Malta Financial Services Authority issues public statements, from time to time, to inform the public on developments within its remit. The  Authority has ublished various statements regarding the lines of enquiry which it is, and has been, pursuing in relation to the La Valette Multi Manager Property Fund Sicav.

The Authority has always insisted that it will fulfil its duties painstakingly and responsibly, and would resist pressure to set unrealistic or optimistic deadlines by when its investigations will be completed or to participate in media debates or speculation.

The first report on the Authority’s findings was published last June, and two of the licence holders involved in the Fund were fined a total of €347,816 for regulatory breaches. Other lines of enquiry have examined whether the Fund was sold to investors who were not eligible, and the allegation that persons connected to the licence holders divested their holdings when in possession of information which was not in the public domain, and has arrived at its conclusions on these two investigations. The process is now at a stage where all involved parties will be asked to submit representations to the Authority.

As with the first investigation, should the Authority determine that a person who holds a licence, or any other person, has contravened any provision of law or of any regulations, it will impose appropriate administrative sanctions, and publish a statement to that effect. Until the publication of such a statement, all proceedings are subject to strict rules of confidentiality.

It is worth highlighting that, although the MFSA has various functions  and powers arising from legislation regulating financial services, the Authority is not a Court of Law, and it cannot act as an arbitrator in disputes that may arise between a licence holder and its clients. Specifically in the area of consumer complaints, the Authority’s recommendations do not bind the financial entity or the complainant. Consequently, there may be cases where a licence holder or the consumer, or both, may choose not to accept the MFSA’s recommendations.

The Authority’s Consumers Complaints Manager will inform a complainant whether a case is closed or not, and will recommend that the consumer seek independent professional advice, especially if she/he is not satisfied with the outcome of the complaint.

In all cases, however, an investor’s right to obtain compensation through the legal/judicial process remains unimpaired.