A Labour MP’s speech in Parliament about the controversial collapse of the La Valette property fund was “grossly offensive and completely untrue”, Bank of Valletta said yesterday.

The bank took exception to Evarist Bartolo’s reference to it and its officials as forming part of “a network of freemasons”, as well as his statement that “high ranking bank officials had withdrawn €17 million on behalf of the bank from the fund” and warned relatives and friends to do the same thing.

The bank deplored the remarks, saying they were without foundation.

During his speech, Mr Bartolo warned the Malta Financial Services Authority that it would be betraying its mission and abrogating its duty if did not pass on its investigative report on the fund to all investors.

Hundreds of families had been deceived and were not receiving protection from the MFSA, he said.

Mr Bartolo’s comments came on the same day that investors were urged to reject the bank’s offer to compensate them with 75c for every share. Those taking up the offer would be giving up their right to take legal action against the bank, irrespective of any findings in the inquiries carried out by the MFSA.

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