Worrying that banks are closing consumers’ accounts without a valid reason – Financial Arbiter
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Financial Arbiter Reno Borg has stated it is worrying that banks in Malta have closed their clients’ bank accounts without giving a valid reason for this.
Dr Borg referred to this issue in his annual report, in which he gave a breakdown of the work carried out last year, during which over 5,000 persons were given assistance.
“The office was handling cases of consumers who felt frustrated because the banks were closing their accounts after they had been clients for long years. The fact that some clients have faced this situation without being given a valid reason for this action is worrying,” Dr Borg added.
Dr Borg noted, however, that certain clients have still not understood that in view of money laundering and financing of terrorism regulations, the bank would need more personal information about them.
Dr Borg emphasised that the banks and authorities charged with supervision against money laundering have to maintain a live dialogue between themselves, and this so that whilst the aims of laws and regulations against money laundering are achieved, they will seek to eliminate needless bureaucracy which was frustrating consumers and which can also scare off investment in the financial services sector.
125 decisions during 2020
The annual report shows that during the last year 125 decisions were taken, including decisions on travel insurance, high-risk investment and the administration of private pension schemes.
The report also shows that 145 formal new cases, an increase of 32% over 2019, were presented last year.
The Office received some 1,000 requests for assistance as well as minor cases, many of which were solved by Customer Relations officers.