Joe Bannister will step down from his current position as the head of the Malta Financial Services Authority on March 31, with John Mamo to take over as non-executive chairman.

The announcement was made by the prime minister, and greeted by the Nationalist Party, which said it has confidence in Prof. Mamo. 

Prof. Mamo - the son of the late President Anthony Mamo - was the founder of John Mamo and Associates with merged with Tonna Camilleri Vassallo in 2000 to form leading legal firm Mamo TCV Advocates. 

He has served as commercial law professor at the University of Malta and as head of the same department and in 2002 he was also appointed Data Protection Commissioner.

Prof. Mamo is an honorary consultant for Mamo TCV and served as chairman or director of various companies, including Fiat Group/Chrysler and the Hyundai Motor Co. franchise.

The news about Prof. Bannister was broken by Prime Minister Joseph Muscat on Wednesday while addressing the Malta Business Network annual lunch at Xara Lodge.

He announced that Prof. Bannister would become a government adviser - but the board of the MFSA will decide who is to become the new chief executive officer.

Prof. Bannister had expressed his wish to step down at the start of this year, citing “personal” reasons, before the end of his fourth successive five-year term, which expires at the end of 2018.

Dr Muscat had said a few weeks ago that the “succession process” was yet to start, even though in May he had referred to it, at the height of the election campaign when serious questions were being raised following a damning report by the government’s anti-money laundering agency in an investigation related to Pilatus Bank.

At one point, former Opposition leader Simon Busuttil declared that if the Nationalist Party were elected to power, he would not retain the long-serving chairman of the financial services watchdog.

The past few months of Prof. Bannister's tenure have been plagued by stories about his directorship in a company based in the British Virgin Islands (BVI) in 2007, while he was already chairman of the Malta Financial Services Authority.

Prof. Bannister has been chairman of the Malta Financial Services Authority since 1999. He also held the post of chairman of its predecessor the Malta Financial Services Centre between 1995 and 1997. From 1990 to 1994 he was chairman of the Malta’s inward investment authority (Malta Development Corporation).

 

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