Words to remember

Pope Francis ended his general audience on Wednesday with the following words: “Thanks to the Maltese people for such a human, such a Christian welcome.”

Will we treat each other, the migrants and non-Maltese people who live among us with humanity and animated by the Christian values of fraternity, compassion and solidarity?

Fr Mario Attard, OFM Cap – Marsa

Photo: Matthew MirabelliPhoto: Matthew Mirabelli

Cooperation

Well done to all the TV stations that collaborated with each other to give us a comprehensive coverage of Pope Francis’ visit. A big thank you.

Cooperation and collaboration get better results than constant antagonism.

Carmel Sciberras – Naxxar

What type of banking?

Queues outside banks are endless, come rain or shine. Photo: Chris Sant FournierQueues outside banks are endless, come rain or shine. Photo: Chris Sant Fournier

Yes, as the editorial ‘Banking rights and obligations’ (April 7) says, there are indeed both rights and obligations in whatever type of banking we offer in Malta. But there is also a key question that the editorial failed to tackle and which needs to be asked before we try to go into that thick wood and this is: what type of banking?

The leader had, running right through it, a top-down approach and, at the top, were clearly the situation and needs of the business class: ease or otherwise to open a bank account, FATF, MFSA and ECB thinking and regulating, comparison with situations outside Malta.

However, that approach simply fails to answer the question of whether the provision of basic banking services should be considered as only a business or is it also a public service?”

Try putting this question to the many pensioners and the “unimportant to the economy” (and that can be debated), people who, every single day, have to wait in endless queues in banking halls (perennially unsuitably staffed in terms of cashiers) or out there on the pavements in rain, cold,  heat and all that both aches bones as well as exasperates tempers.

If the government or, indeed,  the national regulators have no power to tackle head on the owners and top brass of the country’s present banks as to how, once and forever, the poor service which is presently being given to “the people” can be permanently reversed (and let’s not have or accept any of those “get them to use more modern IT” comebacks), if this cannot be done because there comes the retort “ours is a business and we run it the way we choose”, then the time is indeed ripe for a new debate as to whether the government should come forward and challenge these banks head on with a new, and different, type of bank that really provides service to the people.

This is a new challenge and Malta ‘Enterprise’, which should also be about Malta and its people, should also get its teeth into this area. Hope springs eternal.

John Consiglio – Birkirkara

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