An MFSA official who was paid tens of thousands to retire was re-employed in the same position in a former offshoot of the same authority.

George Spiteri, who served for years as the Human Resources Director at the financial services regulator, was earlier this year ‘encouraged’ to take a lucrative early retirement scheme.

The Sunday Times of Malta is informed Mr Spiteri was paid more than €150,000 to step down from the post.

But a few weeks after receiving his lucrative severance package, he was re-employed as the head of the HR department of the Registry of Companies Agency. Just a few weeks before, the registry formed part of the same MFSA he was responsible for.

Following a change in the top echelons of the MFSA last year, a number of senior MFSA officials were asked to take an early retirement scheme.

Mr Spiteri was one of those earmarked and his application to retire was quickly accepted.

However, according to MFSA sources, Mr Spiteri was not happy with the situation and a solution was found following his complaints. Recently, Mr Spiteri was selected to become the head of the human resources department of the new Registry of Companies Agency.

This is a major scandal at the MFSA

By then, the agency had become an ‘autonomous’ government agency. 

“This is a major scandal at the MFSA and the new agency,” a senior official said.

“While MFSA employees working at the Registry of Companies were just transferred onto the books of the new agency and kept doing their job, Mr Spiteri has practically more than halved his responsibilities, got a lucrative sum, resigned from the MFSA and ended up exactly in the same position he was, now at the new agency.”

A spokesman for the MFSA confirmed Mr Spiteri had been paid to retire, but did not want to divulge the amount paid and whether he was re-employed by the Registry of Companies.

A spokesman for the Registry of Companies Agency said Mr Spiteri has been employed as senior HR manager following a public call.

Asked to state whether Mr Spiteri was asked to return the proceeds of the early retirement scheme since he was practically re-employed in the same position, the registry’s spokesman said: “The Registry of Companies Agency is a separate entity and we are not in a position to reply to questions related to employment under the MFSA”.

The reply was echoed by the MFSA.

Mr Spiteri did not reply to questions until the time of writing.

The Sunday Times of Malta has filed a request for further information through the Freedom of Information act.

Until a few months ago, the Registry of Companies was one of the departments within the MFSA. Recently, it became a separate entity and moved to new premises in Żejtun.

The Sunday Times of Malta is informed that so far, the MFSA disbursed some €1.2 million in golden handshakes among 10 employees. None of those paid to retire, with the exception of Mr Spiteri, were given any other job with the government or any of its agencies.

In its annual report, the MFSA registered a deficit after experiencing a drop in revenue and increased costs, particular in professional fees and consultancies. It said the losses were due to the demerger of the Registry for Companies.

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