Michael Briguglio writes to European Commission over Satabank’s frozen accounts

The PN MEP candidate urged the commission and banking authority to step in and make life easier for Satabank account holders 

PN MEP candidate Michael Briguglio has written to the European Commission about the hardship Satabank clients have suffered
PN MEP candidate Michael Briguglio has written to the European Commission about the hardship Satabank clients have suffered

Nationalist Party MEP candidate Michael Briguglio, has penned a letter to the European Commission and the European Bank Authority over issues associated with the freezing of bank accounts at Satabank Malta.

The Malta Financial Services Authority (MFSA) imposed administrative measures and froze all accounts at Satabank in October after flagging serious shortcomings.

The MFSA later appointed Ernst and Young to administer the bank’s assets, allowing for the controlled release of customer deposits.

However, the freezing of accounts has caused hardship to bank customers, mostly foreigners who live and work in Malta, and who were finding it difficult to open traditional accounts with commercial banks.

Briguglio asked the European Commission to provide information on what it was doing to ensure that Satabank customers regained access to their bank accounts in the shortest time possible. 

The MEP candidate asked if the customers could be provided with a minimum withdrawal amount if full access could not be restored. 

Briguglio also asked what the European entities were doing to ensure that Maltese banks do not discriminate against non-Maltese EU citizens by imposing additional administrative burdens.  The provision of e-money accounts by Satabank was 

Briguglio also touched up on the rights of the bank’s employees. 

“What are the Commission and the European Banking Authority doing to protect the employment rights of Satabank workers?” the letter read. 

The letter comes three-weeks after the bank’s accounts were ordered to be frozen by the financial services watchdog, with the GRTU already coming out in saying that Satabank account holders were in a ‘state of depression’.

The GRTU said that information on what will be happening to the bank was very scarce, with calls to Satabank being diverted to a call centre in Bulgaria. 

Briguglio urged for a decision to be taken as quickly as possible, as customers are left to fend off for themselves, as well as small businesses being obstructed from operating.

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