Representatives from the Malta Institute of Accountants and the Malta Banking Association highlighted the main concerns encountered by corporate services providers (CSPs) acting on behalf of clients, in on online discussion held on February 1.

The webinar explored the theme of ‘Topical Issues affecting Banks and Practitioners’ and identified the major stumbling blocks that often lead to a longer process following requests to open a new bank account.

The event provided a platform for members of the MBA and the MIA to bridge information gaps between banks and CSPs on matters such as risk appetite, new banking relationships and trust between actors.

The exchange of experiences gave members of both organisations a better understanding of key issues and offered general guidance on the procedures adopted by the financial services sector in relation to bank-account opening. It also provided a clearer indication of the type of business and characteristics of structures banks are willing to accept, on a sector basis. 

The MBA was represented by Maruska Buttigieg Gili (BNF), Kenneth Farrugia, Martin Xerri and Dr Therisa Borg (BOV), Suzanne Stafrace (HSBC), Ray Formosa (Lombard) and Simon Micallef (APS). They replied to questions from MIA members. The session was moderated by Fabio Axisa, MIA president and Karol Gabarretta, MBA secretary general.   

In a joint statement, Axisa and Gabarretta said: “There is a fundamental need for the MBA and MIA to continue the useful dialogue between banks and practitioners initiated through this webinar. Both of us see and welcome the possibility that the partnership between the MIA and MBA could extend to the organisation of other events to ensure more comprehensive coverage of some of the key issues identified during this webinar. We also believe that the participants will have found this event to be useful and fruitful.”

Gabarretta added: “I wish to emphasise that the association strongly believes in such events as they provide a very good platform for stakeholders, to discuss and share experiences. The MBA thus looks forward to further collaboration with MIA among others, to explore other areas of mutual interest.

Axisa confirmed this and thanked everyone involved in the event. He added that “as the recognised professional accountancy body in Malta, the MIA will continue working closely with the MBA to discuss issues of concern to their respective members and find workable solutions, while taking cognisance of any prevailing restrictions”.

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