Administrative Measures and Penalties

In terms of article 4(1)(c) of the Malta Financial Services Authority Act, one of the MFSA’s functions is to keep the general public informed of important developments in the sector that it regulates, and to provide the public with relevant information and guidance. Article 16(8) of the Malta Financial Services Authority Act also provides that:

Any administrative or disciplinary sanction or measure, of whatever type, including reprimands or warnings, imposed or decided by the Authority under any law for whose administration it is responsible, shall be published in such medium and in such manner and for such duration as may be deemed warranted by the circumstances and the nature and seriousness of the breach or wrongdoing.

The MFSA is obliged to make public all sanctions and penalties it imposes on its licence-holders so that the general public will be better informed. The current MFSA policy on publication is that after a licence-holder is notified of the MFSA’s decision to impose a penalty or administrative sanction, the MFSA shall publish a notice of the sanction on its website and in such other media deemed appropriate in the circumstances. Where and as applicable, the notice published on the website will indicate clearly whether the penalty or sanction is currently being appealed against. Publication on the MFSA website is based on the following criteria:

  1. A notice to the public in respect of a fine not exceeding € 3,000, a warning, a reprimand or other minor infringement shall remain posted on the website for a minimum period of two (2) years.  
  2. A notice to the public in respect of a fine exceeding € 3,000 but not exceeding € 25,000, or of more serious infringements shall remain posted on the website for a period of five (5) years.  
  3. A notice to the public in respect of serious infringements, including suspension or restriction of a licence for regulatory purposes (not a voluntary request for suspension or restriction) and fines exceeding € 25,000 shall remain posted on the website for a period of ten (10) years.  
  4. A notice to the public in respect of a cancellation of a licence for regulatory purposes (not a voluntary surrender) shall not be removed from the web-site.  
  5. A warning of a general nature shall be removed from the web-site only when it is established that there is no further threat to the public. The removal of such warnings is not tied to a pre-determined number of years.   The MFSA seeks to ensure high standards of conduct and management throughout the financial system.
The MFSA believes that the naming of persons, including licence-holders that have been sanctioned for breaching provisions of law, will lead to a greater awareness of the standards which should guide the activities and the conduct of operators in the financial services industry.

These notices are intended as a summary of the Authority’s decisions and, accordingly, are not the actual decisions themselves.

DateEntitySubject
20/01/2017 NEMEA BANK PLC Public Notice concerning Nemea Bank plc

On 27 April 2016 the Malta Financial Services Authority (‘the Authority’) issued a Public Notice concerning Nemea Bank plc (‘the Bank’) whereby the Authority informed the public that in order to ensure the proper protection of depositors and the Bank’s other clients, the Authority was appointing PricewaterhouseCoopers Malta (‘PwC’) as a competent person in terms of Article 29 of the Banking Act and Article 15A of the Investment Services Act.
In terms of the same Directive, the Competent Person was instructed to [i] take charge of the assets of the Bank for the purpose of safeguarding the interests of depositors and its other clients; and [ii] to assume control of the Bank’s business and to carry on that business and such other functions as the MFSA may direct.
These precautionary measures were taken in view of regulatory shortcomings that had been identified at the Bank and were to remain in place until such time as the MFSA may otherwise direct.
By a further Notice issued on the same date the Authority advised that the limit for withdrawals from Nemea Bank deposit accounts had been set at €250 per depositor per day.
By means of another Public Notice published on 18 July 2016 the Authority advised that it had decided to ease the deposit withdrawal limit from €250 to €2,500 per depositor per day. This easing was subject to the condition that the present maturities of deposits are maintained and that no term deposits are allowed to be withdrawn before their stated maturity dates.
The Authority also confirmed that discussions were being conducted with the Bank’s shareholders with the aim of ensuring that the necessary action is taken to address the regulatory shortcomings.
Despite repeated requests, to date no tangible progress has been registered to fulfil these regulatory requirements. Given that this situation cannot be sustained indefinitely without undue detriment to depositors, the Authority has now decided to propose to the ECB the withdrawal of the licence granted to the Bank under the Banking Act, Cap 371. This measure has been taken by the Authority in the interests of the depositors of the Bank.
Pending the ECB’s final decision on the license withdrawal, a prohibition of the withdrawal of deposits has been put in place with immediate effect as a precautionary measure to safeguard the assets of the Bank and to ensure the equal treatment of depositors. In addition the Competent Person will remain in place until further notice.
This notice will remain valid until such time as the MFSA may communicate further information.
Further information may be obtained by accessing the Authority’s webpage www.mfsa.com.mt which includes a number of Frequently Asked Questions.
Any communication in relation to the Bank should be addressed to the Bank on 25708100 or the Authority on contact number Freephone 80074924.

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12/01/2017 FALCON FUNDS SICAV p.l.c. This notice is being issued in respect of Falcon Funds SICAV plc (‘the Scheme’) having registration number SV295 and registered office at TG Complex, Suite 2, Level 3, Brewery Street, Mriehel, Birkirkara and which holds a collective investment scheme licence pursuant to Section 6 of the Investment Services Act and qualifies as a Maltese undertaking for collective investment in transferable securities (UCITS) pursuant to the Investment Services Act (Marketing of UCITS) Regulations in respect of its three sub-funds: Falcon Aggressive Fund, Falcon Cautious Fund and Falcon Balanced Fund (‘the Sub-Funds’).

The MFSA has been investigating the conduct of the Scheme since December 2015. Following careful consideration of the facts available to the Authority, on 9 and 22 September 2016 the MFSA issued two directives to the Scheme under the powers granted to the Authority in Article 15 of the Investment Services Act.

In order to ensure the proper protection of the unit-holders and other creditors of the Scheme, the MFSA appointed KPMG Malta (‘KPMG’) as a competent person in terms of Article 15A of the Investment Services Act with effect from 11 January 2017 to inter alia: [a] to take charge of the assets of the Scheme for the purpose of safeguarding the interests of the investors in the Sub-Funds of the Scheme, [b] assume control of the business of the Scheme, [c] periodically report to the MFSA and other relevant persons on the activities undertaken, and [d] carry out such other functions as the MFSA may direct. This measure is being taken with specific reference to the Scheme following an on-going investigation on the Scheme and the termination of the Investment Management Agreement between the Scheme and Temple Asset Management Ltd, the former Investment Manager of the Scheme.

These measures will remain in place until such time as the MFSA directs otherwise.
22/09/2016 FALCON FUNDS SICAV p.l.c. Directive of the Malta Financial Services Authority in terms of Article 15 of the Investment Services Act

Falcon Funds SICAV plc is hereby directed to redeem the units of the sub-funds held by the Swedish Pension Agency according to an orderly redemption plan. In this regard, the MFSA further directs Falcon Funds SICAV plc to:

[a] realise in an orderly manner the liquid assets of the sub-funds in the best interest of the unit-holders and pay out of the related redemption proceeds within two weeks of receipt of this directive;

[b] realise in an orderly manner the illiquid assets of the sub-funds as soon as prices for them may be obtained that are in the best interest of the unit-holders and, in any case, no later than nine months from the receipt of this directive;

[c] pay out the redemption proceeds relating to the asset disposal referred to in sub-paragraph (b) on a continuous basis as soon as possible after the assets are disposed of;

[d] report to the MFSA on the implementation of the redemption plan on a weekly basis for the first month following the receipt of the MFSA directive and every two weeks thereafter. This report is to include a section setting out the efforts to sell, liquidate or transfer the ETIs and other illiquid investments in an orderly manner and in the best interest of unit-holders; and

[e] notify the MFSA of any material impairments and/or realised losses as soon as they arise.

The above directive is being issued by the MFSA to protect and safeguard the interests of the current unit-holders in the Fund in the context of the specific circumstances that have arisen.

The above directive is being issued in terms of Article 15 of the Investment Services Act and shall take effect immediately.

Falcon is further advised that this directive may he appealed before the Financial Services Tribunal by not later than 30 days from the date of notification of the directive. Any such appeal does not suspend the operation of any directive from which the appeal is made.
09/09/2016 FALCON FUNDS SICAV p.l.c. Directive of the Malta Financial Services Authority in terms of Article 15 of the Investment Services Act

Falcon Funds SICAV plc is hereby being directed with immediate effect to lift the temporary suspension of redemptions and subscriptions.
The above directive is being issued by the MFSA to protect and safeguard the interests of the current and prospective investors in the Fund in the context of the specific circumstances that have arisen.

The above directive is being issued in terms of Article 15 of the Investment Services Act and shall take effect immediately.

Falcon is further advised that this directive may be appealed before the Financial Services Tribunal by not later than 30 days from the date of notification of the directive.
27/06/2016 STM MALTA TRUST AND COMPANY MANAGEMENT LIMITED On 13 April 2016, the Malta Financial Services Authority (“The MFSA”) imposed the following administrative penalties on STM Malta Trust and Company Management Limited (“STMT”), a retirement scheme administrator, which at the time of the breaches, was registered under the Special Funds (Regulation) Act (Cap. 450): In terms of article 7(6) of the Special Funds (Regulation) Act, the MFSA imposed an administrative penalty of ten thousand Euro (€10,000) for breach of article 2 of the Special Funds (Regulation) Act and Standard Operational Condition B.1.1.12 of the Directives issued under the said Act; In terms of article 17(6) of the Special Funds (Regulation) Act, the MFSA imposed an administrative penalty of ten thousand Euro (€10,000) for breach of Standard Operational Condition B.2.7.6 of the Directives issued under the said Act; In terms of article 7(6) of the Special Funds (Regulation) Act, the MFSA imposed an administrative penalty of two thousand five hundred Euro (€2,500) for non-compliance with Licensing Condition 2.2(d)(iii) of the STM Malta Retirement Plan); and In terms of article 7(6) of the Special Funds (Regulation) Act, the MFSA imposed an administrative penalty of five thousand Euro (€5,000) for non-compliance with Licensing Condition 2.2(d)(v) of the STM Malta Retirement Plan. This notice is being published in terms of the powers vested in the MFSA in terms of article 16(8) of the Malta Financial Services Authority Act (Cap. 330) and article 59 of the Special Funds (Regulation) Act.
09/06/2016The Depositary of Futura Funds SICAV plc Following the postponement of the review of the licence upgrade of Futura Investment Management Limited (“Futura”) to a full AIFM and the subsequent directive issued by the Malta Financial Services Authority to Futura on 9 June 2016 to inter alia: (a) restrict its business in line with the de minimis threshold stipulated in Article 3(2) of the AIFMD, and (b) to comply with Section 1 (General Requirements) to Section 8 (Supplementary Reporting Obligations for Licence Holders Managing Specific Types of AIFs – Leveraged AIFs) of Part BIII of the Investment Services Rules for Investment Services Providers until such time as the assets under management figure of Futura falls below €100 million. On 9 June 2016, the MFSA issued a separate directive to Bank of Valletta plc as Depositary of Futura Funds SICAV plc in terms of Article 15 of the Investment Services Act. In this regard, the MFSA directed Bank of Valletta plc as Depositary to upgrade the existing Custody Agreement with Futura Funds SICAV plc and to make it fully AIFMD compliant, in particular to reflect the provisions of Article 21 of the AIFMD under the assets under management figure of Futura falls below €100 million or as otherwise directed by the MFSA. The revised Custody Agreement would inter alia require Bank of Valletta plc as Depositary to:

1) undertake cash flow monitoring duties with respect to transactions conducted by Futura Funds SICAV plc;
2) review compliance with the investment restrictions of Futura Funds SICAV plc; and
3) ensure that the asset valuation is carried out in line with the valuation rules of Futura Funds SICAV plc as well as the provisions of Article 19 of the AIFMD.

This is apart from other obligations pertaining to the depositary as arising from Article 21 of the AIFMD.

The MFSA has taken this decision in terms of the powers granted to it under Article 15 of the Investment Services Act.
09/06/2016 Futura Funds SICAV plc On 9 June 2016, the Malta Financial Services Authority postponed the review of the upgrade of the licence of Futura Investment Management Limited (“Futura”) (a Category 2 Fund Manager) to a full Alternative Investment Fund Manager and issued the following two directives to Futura.

Directive 1:

To restrict the business of Futura to the existing levels with immediate effect and to refrain from increasing Futura’s total assets under management (including to reject subscriptions in all existing funds managed) or to accept any new mandates until the assets under management figure of Futura falls below the €100 million threshold stipulated in Article 3(2) of the AIFMD as transposed in Section 1 of Part BIII of the Investment Services Rules for Investment Services Providers.

Directive 2:

Given that the total assets under management of Futura significantly exceeded the €100 million de minimis threshold stipulated in Article 3(2) of the AIFMD, the MFSA directed Futura:
a) to abide by and comply with Section 1 (General Requirements) to Section 8 (Supplementary Reporting Obligations for Licence Holders Managing Specific Types of AIFs – Leveraged AIFs) of Part BIII of the Investment Services Rules for Investment Services Providers in the conduct of its operations; and
b) to refrain from marketing funds in general and from exercising passporting rights and/ or the private placement provisions within the EU as provided for under the AIFMD.

The MFSA has taken this decision in terms of the powers granted to it under Article 15 of the Investment Services Act.

This notice is being published in terms of the powers vested in the MFSA under Article 15(4) of the Investment Services Act.
09/06/2016 FUTURA INVESTMENT MANAGEMENT LIMITED On 9 June 2016, the Malta Financial Services Authority postponed the review of the upgrade of the licence of Futura Investment Management Limited (“Futura”) (a Category 2 Fund Manager) to a full Alternative Investment Fund Manager and issued the following two directives to Futura.

Directive 1:

To restrict the business of Futura to the existing levels with immediate effect and to refrain from increasing Futura’s total assets under management (including to reject subscriptions in all existing funds managed) or to accept any new mandates until the assets under management figure of Futura falls below the €100 million threshold stipulated in Article 3(2) of the AIFMD as transposed in Section 1 of Part BIII of the Investment Services Rules for Investment Services Providers.

Directive 2:

Given that the total assets under management of Futura significantly exceeded the €100 million de minimis threshold stipulated in Article 3(2) of the AIFMD, the MFSA directed Futura:
a) to abide by and comply with Section 1 (General Requirements) to Section 8 (Supplementary Reporting Obligations for Licence Holders Managing Specific Types of AIFs – Leveraged AIFs) of Part BIII of the Investment Services Rules for Investment Services Providers in the conduct of its operations; and
b) to refrain from marketing funds in general and from exercising passporting rights and/ or the private placement provisions within the EU as provided for under the AIFMD.

The MFSA has taken this decision in terms of the powers granted to it under Article 15 of the Investment Services Act.

This notice is being published in terms of the powers vested in the MFSA under Article 15(4) of the Investment Services Act.
27/04/2016 NEMEA BANK PLC Public Notice Concerning Nemea Bank plc


This notice is being issued in respect of Nemea Bank p.l.c., (“the Bank”) having registration number C-45026 and operating from Level 17, Portomaso Tower, St Julians, and which holds a credit institution licence in terms of the Banking Act (Chapter 371 of the Laws of Malta), and a Category 2 and Category 3 investment services licence in terms of the Investment Services Act (Chapter 370 of the Laws of Malta).

In order to ensure the proper protection of depositors and the Bank’s other clients, the MFSA has today appointed PricewaterhouseCoopers Malta (‘PwC’) as a competent person in terms of Article 29 of the Banking Act and Article 15A of the Investment Services Act. Furthermore the Bank has been given direction with respect to acceptance of deposits and withdrawals until further notice.

These measures are being taken with specific reference to the Bank following an on-site inspection at the Bank carried out jointly with members of the DGMSIII of the European Central Bank (‘ECB’) and which was finalised in April 2016. As a result of this joint inspection a number of serious regulatory shortcomings have been identified and the Authority has decided to take regulatory action to safeguard the interests of depositors and other creditors of the Bank.

In view of these regulatory concerns, which were also discussed by the Supervisory Board of the ECB, the MFSA considered that as a response to the Bank’s situation, taking also the recommendation of the Supervisory Board of the ECB, it is necessary to appoint a competent person to: [i] take charge of the assets of the Bank for the purpose of safeguarding the interests of depositors and its other clients; and [ii] to assume control of the Bank’s business and to carry on that business and such other functions as the MFSA may direct.

These precautionary measures will remain in place until such time as the MFSA may direct otherwise.

Any communication in relation to the Bank should be addressed to the Bank on the following number 25708100.

Click below to view Questions & Answers in relation to the above Notice:

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13/04/2016 STM MALTA TRUST AND COMPANY MANAGEMENT LIMITED On 13 April 2016, the Malta Financial Services Authority imposed an administrative penalty of fifty thousand Euro (€50,000) on STM Malta Trust and Company Management Limited (“STMT”) for breach of article 21(1) of the Trusts and Trustees Act (Cap.331) and paragraph 6.0 of the Code of Conduct for Trustees. The Authority’s decision was based on STMT’s failure to disclose and repeated resistance to the Authority’s direction to disclose its interest to the members or potential members of its Retirement Schemes, with respect to transactions between itself, a particular introducer and a product provider, creating a conflict of interest. This notice is being published in terms of the powers vested in the MFSA in terms of article 16(8) of the Malta Financial Services Authority Act (Cap. 330).

Updated on 14/07/2016

On 20 June, 2016, the Malta Financial Services Authority was notified of the appeal filed by STM Malta Trust and Company Management Limited against the Authority’s decision to impose an administrative penalty for breach of article 21(1) of the Trusts and Trustees Act (Cap.331) and paragraph 6.0 of the Code of Conduct for Trustees. The appeal had been received by the Financial Services Tribunal on the 12 May 2016.
29/03/2016 FIMBank p.l.c. On 29th March 2016, the Malta Financial Services Authority (the MFSA or the Authority) decided to apply a number of restrictions on FIMBank plc through applying limitations on the expansion and further investment in its network of subsidiary and associated entities, in terms of the powers granted to the Authority under article 17E(1)and (2) of the Banking Act and sub-regulation 9(e) of the Banking Act (Supervisory Review) Regulations (subsidiary legislation 371.16).

Following an on-site inspection carried out during March and April 2015, on the basis of an accumulation of findings, the MFSA has determined that the governance arrangements, processes and mechanisms in place at the time of the inspection were not considered to be comprehensive to the nature, scale and complexity of the credit institution’s activities. Therefore, the requirements of article 17(B)(1) and 17(B)(2) of the Banking Act (Cap. 371) were not met.

Mitigating Factors

On the basis of a thorough assessment of the developments that have taken place subsequent to the conclusion of the on-site inspection, the Authority considers that significant progress has been registered by the FIMBank plc to remediate identified shortcomings. Accordingly, the Authority specifies that certain mitigating factors, particularly the positive stance taken by the Bank’s Board of Directors through inter alia the changes in senior management structures, the sustained level of shareholder support, the fact that actions to implement the corrective measures as requested by the Inspectors have been taken (or are in the process of being undertaken) and the collaborative stance adopted by the Bank’s Board of Directors and executive management, had a material bearing on its assessment and consideration to impose this regulatory action.

This notice is being published in terms of the powers vested in the MFSA under the Malta Financial Services Authority Act (Cap. 330).
08/03/2016 FX-CAM CONSULTING AND ADVERTISEMENT LIMITED FX-CAM Consulting and Advertisement Ltd [formerly Sensus Capital Markets Limited]

On the 8 March 2016, the Malta Financial Services Authority (the MFSA or the Authority) has decided to cancel the Category 2 Investment Services Licence of FX-CAM Consulting and Advertisement Ltd (C57386), formerly Sensus Capital Markets Limited (Sensus or Company) in terms of the powers granted to the Authority under Article 7 of the Investment Services Act (ISA).


Sensus was found in breach of:


- Article 3(1) of the ISA and Standard Licence Condition (SLC) 1.13 of Part BI of the Investment Services Rules for Investment Services Providers (the Rules) for acting beyond its licence by dealing on own account when it was not licensed to do so;


- SLCs 2.94, 2.95, 2.96 and 2.97 of the Rules in breach of the conflicts of interest requirements;


- SLCs 1.06(m), 2.133, 2.134 and 2.141 of the Rules in relation to Sensus’ appointment of Introducing Brokers;


- SLCs 2.83, 2.84 and 2.85 in relation to breaches relating to record keeping and retention of data;


- SLCs 1.17(c), 1.17(e), 1.18(c) and 1.25 of the Rules with respect to breaches of the general organisational requirements;


- SLCs 1.06(o) and 1.06(k) of the Rules for failure to notify the MFSA of material information concerning the Company;


- SLCs 7.16 and 7.17 for failure to submit the annual audited financial statements and related documents within the required timeframes;


- SLCs 1.04 and 1.22(b) of the Rules in relation to the appointment of company officials;


- SLCs 1.02 and 1.09 of the Rules as well as Article 13 of the ISA for failure to cooperate in an open and honest manner with the MFSA and for providing inconsistent information to the MFSA;


- SLC 1.20 of the Rules for providing the Company’s Compliance Officer with incomplete and /or misleading information;


- SLC 1.06(b) of the Rules for failing to formally notify the MFSA about its change in registered address.


The seriousness of Sensus’ above breaches is aggravated by a number of factors including the following:


- The Company does not appear to have acted in good faith and has not shown any degree of openness or co-operation; rather, it has, on numerous occasions, attempted to conceal information and mislead the MFSA whilst undertaking activities that went beyond its licence;


- There are circumstances suggesting that, Sensus consciously concealed information and/or attempted to mislead the MFSA;


- The seriousness of the Company’s infringements may have potentially caused losses to its clients as well as impacting its financial soundness, particularly since it failed to obtain a licence to operate as a Category 3 licence holder, and hence was not subject to more onerous licence conditions, including those related to capital requirements and reporting obligations; and


- Sensus engaged in these actions in a repeated and systematic manner and hence its infringements cannot be described as being isolated incidents.


Sensus has therefore been found in breach of a number of requirements which are inter alia intended both to protect investors and to ensure the financial soundness of the Company.


It should be noted that the MFSA decision to cancel Sensus’ licence shall not become operative until the expiration of the period within which an appeal lies, and if an appeal is made within such period, the decision shall become operative on the date of the decision of the Tribunal dismissing the appeal or the date on which the appeal is abandoned.


Updated on 22/06/2016
On the 20 June, 2016, the Malta Financial Services Authority was notified of the appeal filed by FX-CAM Consulting and Advertisement Ltd (formerly Sensus Capital Markets Ltd) against the Authority’s decision to cancel the Company’s licence. The appeal had been received by the Financial Services Tribunal on the 7 April, 2016.
08/03/2016 D.B.R. INVESTMENTS LIMITED This notice is being issued in respect of D.B.R. Investments Limited (“DBR” and “the Company”) having registration number C-27129 and operating from ‘Deber’, Nigret Road, Zurrieq, and which holds a Category 2 investment services licence issued by the MFSA. DBR is licensed to: [i] receive and transmit orders; [ii] place instruments without a firm commitment basis; [iii] provide nominee services; and [iv] execute orders on behalf of clients. DBR is not licensed by the MFSA to provide any other type of financial services whatsoever. In particular, DBR is not licenced to transact in the business of banking or in the business of a financial institution.


As part of its supervisory functions, the Authority carried out a number of inspections at the offices of DBR. The last on-site inspection at DBR was held in October 2014 following which the Authority continued to monitor the company closely with respect to its investment services business. As a result of the Authority’s intervention, on the 23rd September 2015 the Company confirmed to the Authority that it had stopped taking on new investment services business and would only continue to service existing investment services clients.


On the 6th October 2015 the Managing Director and majority shareholder of DBR, Mr John Farrugia, passed away. The Company subsequently started to wind down its investment services business. It also came to the attention of the Authority that the late Mr John Farrugia might have carried out unauthorised financial services activities in his personal capacity. In this regard, a report was made to the Police. Investigations are underway to establish the extent to which DBR may be involved in these unauthorised activities.


In order to safeguard the interest of investors, in November 2015 the Authority directed the Company inter alia to transfer its existing clients to other service providers in an expedited manner. Investment services clients of the Company have been approached in this regard and the process of the transfer of clients’ assets and monies to other service providers is underway. The Authority is closely monitoring the orderly winding down of the Company’s investment services activities in the best interest of clients.


The Authority directed that all existing client records and documents are to be kept safe and not destroyed, erased or disposed of in any manner and should not be moved or transferred from the registered office of the Company. In addition, the directors, shareholders, other officers and employees of the Company were directed to retain and to desist from destroying, damaging or altering any documentation which may be in their possession relating to the Company and/ or its clients. Also, the Authority directed the directors, shareholders, other officers and employees of the Company to ensure that no assets are transferred from the Company, other than strictly for the payment of claims and legitimate expenses arising from the business of investments.


In order to safeguard the interests of investors the Authority has today taken further steps by appointing Mr Paul Mercieca in terms of Article 15A of the Investment Services Act to take charge of the assets and to assume control of the Company’s business.


Further notices on this matter may be issued in due course.




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08/01/2016 RFID Invest II SICAV plc On 8 January 2016, the Malta Financial Services Authority (‘the Authority’) has, on regulatory grounds, suspended with immediate effect, the Collective Investment Scheme Licence of RFID Invest II SICAV plc (“the Scheme”).

After consideration of all the circumstances surrounding the Scheme, RFID Invest II SICAV plc was found to be in breach of the following Standard Licence Conditions (“SLCs”):

- SLC 1.61 of Part BII of the Investment Services Rules for Professional Investor Funds for the failure to submit the audited financial statements for the year ended 31 December 2013 and 31 December 2014;

- SLC 1.22 and SLC 1.28 of Part BII of the Investment Services Rules for Professional Investor Funds for the failure to have a Compliance Officer and a Money Laundering Reporting Officer at all times; and

- SLC 1.5 of Part BII of the Investment Services Rules for Professional Investor Funds for the failure to have a third party manager until the Scheme is converted to a Self-Managed scheme.

The Authority has taken this decision in terms of its powers under Article 7(3)(b) of the Investment Services Act.

16/12/2015 JFP Investments (SICAV) plc On 14 December 2015, the Malta Financial Services Authority (‘the Authority’) has, on regulatory grounds, suspended with immediate effect, the Collective Investment Scheme Licence of JFP Investments (SICAV) plc (“the Scheme”) in respect of JFP Emerging Europe Momentum Fund (“the Sub-Fund”).

After consideration of all the circumstances surrounding the Scheme and the Sub-Fund, JFP Investments (SICAV) plc was found to be in breach of the following Standard Licence Conditions (“SLCs”):

- SLC 1.63 of Part BIII of the Investment Services Rules for Professional Investor Funds (“the Rules”), which requires the Scheme to submit copies of the Scheme’s annual audited financial statements within six months of the year end;

- SLC 1.71(iii) of Part BIII of the Rules, which requires the Authority to be informed of any other material information concerning the Scheme, its business or its officials in Malta or abroad which a reasonable person would expect the MFSA to wish to be informed about immediately upon becoming aware of the matter;

- SLC 2.8 of Appendix 1 to the Rules, which requires the Scheme to act honestly, fairly and with integrity, in the best interest of its investors/shareholders and of the market; and

- SLC 1.66 of Part BIII of the Rules, which requires the Scheme and its service providers to comply with all Maltese and overseas regulations to which they are subject.

The Authority has taken this decision in terms of its powers under Article 7(3)(b) of the Investment Services Act.

Update on 9th February 2016
On the 15 January 2016 the Scheme submitted an appeal before the Financial Services Tribunal against the MFSA’s decision to suspend with immediate effect (in terms of the powers granted to the MFSA under Article 7(3)(b) of the Investment Services Act) the Collective Investment Scheme Licence of the Scheme in respect of JFP Emerging Europe Momentum Fund.

02/11/2015 COSMIC FINANCIAL SERVICES (MALTA) LIMITED In terms of the Decision taken by the Malta Financial Services Authority (‘MFSA’) on 30 October 2015, the MFSA has cancelled the Category 1A investment services licence of Cosmic Financial Services (Malta) Limited, with effect from 30 October 2015 after identifying a series of regulatory breaches. Cosmic Financial Services (Malta) Limited is no longer licensed to offer/provide investment services in or from within Malta.

This notice is being published in terms of the powers vested in the Authority under the provisions of the Malta Financial Services Authority Act.
08/10/2015 Kentish Alan Roy On the 8th October 2015, the Malta Financial Services Authority directed Mr Alan Kentish not to hold any directorship, senior managerial and, or executive roles within STM Malta Trust and Company Management Limited and STM Malta Insurance Management Limited for a period of one year from the date of this decision, in terms of article 48(2)(a) of the Trusts and Trustees Act (Cap. 331), article 51(5) of the Special Funds (Regulation) Act (Cap. 450), and article 54 of the Insurance Intermediaries Act (Cap. 487) (applying article 31A of the Insurance Business Act). Mr Alan Kentish has voluntarily resigned from director of STM Malta Trust and Company Management Limited and STM Malta Insurance Management Limited and as a registered insurance manager of the latter company.

The MFSA’s regulatory measure is not connected with any licensable activities being carried on by the aforementioned companies.

This notice is being published in accordance with the provisions of the Malta Financial Services Authority Act (Cap. 330).
01/09/2015 SMART INSURANCE BROKERS LIMITED On the 31st August 2015, the Authority suspended the name of Smart Insurance Brokers Ltd from the Brokers List on regulatory grounds in terms of its powers under article 16(b) of the Insurance Intermediaries Act (Cap. 487).
15/07/2015 INTERNATIONAL INSURANCE BROKERS LIMITED On the 8th July 2015, the Malta Financial Services Authority imposed an administrative penalty of €1,000 plus a daily penalty of €50 and an administrative penalty of €500 plus a daily penalty of €25 on International Insurance Brokers Ltd for breaching the provisions of articles 24 and 25 respectively of the Insurance Intermediaries Act (Cap 487).

The total administrative penalty amounted to €11,775.

This notice is being published in terms of the powers vested in the MFSA under the Malta Financial Services Authority Act (Cap. 330).
04/11/2014 COSMIC FINANCIAL SERVICES (MALTA) LIMITED On 4th November 2014, the Malta Financial Services Authority (‘MFSA’) has suspended the Category 1A investment services licence of Cosmic Financial Services (Malta) Limited (‘the Company’), after identifying a series of regulatory breaches.
As a result, Cosmic Financial Services (Malta) Limited cannot accept new business and cannot continue servicing existing clients.
The following are the breaches identified by the Authority in relation to the compliance function and reporting requirements of the Company:
Compliance Function: The Company has failed to establish and maintain an effective compliance function. The Compliance Officer of the Company did not fulfilling his oversight role for a number of months.
Reporting Requirements: The Company is currently in breach of its reporting requirements including the submission of:
i. the annual unaudited financial returns covering year ending 31 May 2014;
ii. the annual audited financial statements for year ending May 2014;
iii. the annual audited financial return covering year ending May 2014;
iv. the Auditors’ Report to the MFSA required in terms of SLC 7.25 of Part BI to the Investment Services Rules for Investment Services Providers; and
v. a copy of the Management Letter of 2014.

This notice is being published in terms of the powers vested in the Authority under the provisions of the Malta Financial Services Authority Act.
15/07/2014 Brightwell Portfolio Fund SICAV plc On 15 July 2014, the Malta Financial Services Authority (‘the Authority’) has, on regulatory grounds, suspended with immediate effect, the Collective Investment Scheme Licence of Brightwell Portfolio Fund SICAV plc (‘Brightwell’) in respect of its sub-funds, namely Sub-Fund A - Global Managed Futures, Sub-Fund B - Equity Hedged, Sub-Fund C - High Leverage Managed Futures, Sub-Fund I - Properties Preferred and Sub-Fund P - Fixed Yield.

Following the resignation of key officials and service providers, Brightwell Portfolio Fund SICAV plc was found to be in breach of:
- Standard Licence Conditions (‘SLCs’) 1.22 and 1.28 of Part BII of the Investment Services Rules for Professional Investor Funds, which require the Scheme to have a Compliance Officer and Money Laundering Reporting Officer at all times;

- SLC 2.2 of Appendix I to Part B of the Investment Services Rules for Professional Investor Funds, which requires Brightwell to have a Director who is independent from the Manager and Custodian; and Article 137(1) of the Companies Act and Section 8 of Brightwell’s Memorandum of Association requiring it to have at least two Directors at all times;

- Article 135 of the Companies Act, as a result of which no shareholders’ resolutions can be passed by the Scheme since the quorum required in terms of the said Article cannot be met; and

- Article 138(1) of the Companies Act requiring Brightwell to have a Company Secretary.
The Authority has taken this decision in terms of its powers under Article 7(3)(b) and (c) of the Investment Services Act.

This notice is being published in terms of the powers vested in the Authority under the provisions of the Malta Financial Services Authority Act.
07/07/2014 Galea John On the 7 July 2014, the Malta Financial Services Authority (“MFSA”) directed Mr John Galea to resign as director of Galea Insurance Brokers Ltd (“GIB”) on regulatory grounds in terms of article 16(2)(b) of the Malta Financial Services Authority Act. This resignation shall come into effect no later than three months from the date of this decision.

The MFSA will review Mr Galea’s position on the lapse of one year from the date of this decision and in the event that he applies for re-appointment as director of GIB.

This notice is being published in terms of the powers vested in the MFSA under the Malta Financial Services Authority Act (Cap 430).
07/07/2014 Galea Rosanne On the 7 July 2014, the Malta Financial Services Authority (“MFSA”) suspended Mrs Rosanne Galea’s registration from the Brokers Register in terms of article 16 (c) and 16 (l) of the Insurance Intermediaries Act (Cap.487) and directed Mrs Galea to resign as director of Galea Insurance Brokers Ltd (“GIB”) on regulatory grounds in terms of article 16 (2)(b) of the Malta Financial Services Authority Act. Mrs Galea’s suspension from the Brokers Register and her resignation as Director shall come into effect no later than three months from the date of this decision.

The MFSA will review Mrs.Galea’s position on the lapse of one year from the date of this decision and in the event that she applies for reinstatement in the Brokers Register and /or re-appointment as director of GIB.

This notice is being published in terms of the powers vested in the MFSA under the Malta Financial Services Authority Act (Cap 430).
10/06/2014 A25 Gold Producers Corp With effect from 6th June 2014, the Listing Authority has decided to discontinue the listing of A25 Gold Producers Corp in terms of Listing Rule 1.21 and Article 18 of the Financial Markets Act (Cap. 345).
28/01/2014 FXDD MALTA LIMITED On the 28th January 2014, the Malta Financial Services Authority (‘the Authority’) fined FXDD Malta Ltd €25,000 under the provisions of Article 16A of the Investment Services Act. FXDD Malta Ltd was found to be in breach of SLC 2.01 of Part B1 of the Investment Services Rules for Investment Services Providers. This notice is being published in accordance with the provisions of the Malta Financial Services Authority Act.
20/11/2013 Bisazza Alberto On the 19th November 2013, the Malta Financial Services Authority (‘the Authority’) resolved, on regulatory grounds, to strike-off Mr Alberto Bisazza from the Brokers Register in terms of the Insurance Intermediaries Act (Cap.487) with immediate effect.
The Authority will review Mr Bisazza’s position on the lapse of two years from the date of this decision and in the event that he re-applies for registration in the Brokers Register.
This notice is being published in terms of the powers vested in the Authority under the Malta Financial Services Authority Act.
24/07/2013The directors of Norvik (Malta) SICAV plc On the 24th July 2013, the Malta Financial Services Authority issued a Directive to the directors of Norvik (Malta) SICAV plc (“the Scheme”) to take the following action:

- Cease all operations with immediate effect;
- Refrain from carrying out any act and/or transaction whatsoever;
- Put the scheme into dissolution without delay; and
- Appoint a liquidator to wind up the company.

The Authority’s investigation determined that the Scheme is in an untenable situation and there are considerable difficulties for it to continue to operate successfully as a going concern and in compliance with the applicable laws. The following is a summary of the Authority’s findings and conclusions.

The Authority found conflicting evidence regarding the transfer of Ms Tina Petersone’s voting shares. This matter cannot be resolved because the Authority is unable to determine the validity and originality of any of the multiple share transfer documents in existence and the legality of their execution. The ultimate beneficial owner of the Scheme cannot be determined.

The directors of the Scheme decided to terminate the Scheme’s management and administration agreement with Norvik ieguldījumu pārvaldes sabiedrība (“NIPS”) without adequately notifying it beforehand. The Scheme only requested the Authority to convert its structure to a self-managed Scheme much later on. The board of directors of the Scheme expressly violated the MFSA Directive issued on 24th April, 2013 by performing acts of administration specifically forbidden by the Directive.

The present situation, whereby the parties are accusing each other of not respecting contractual arrangements and alleging misconduct is not conducive to promoting the interests of investors and is giving rise to an impasse.

There has been no compliance officer, money laundering reporting officer and company secretary appointed by the Scheme since the 29th April, 2013. These are very important roles that are required to be occupied at all times by law.

This notice is being published in terms of the powers vested in the MFSA under the Malta Financial Services Authority Act (Cap. 330).

10/06/2013 The directors of Priveq Funds SICAV plc On the 5th June 2013, the Malta Financial Services Authority reprimanded the directors of Priveq Funds SICAV plc, Mr. Claudio A. Frick, Dr David Griscti and Mr Mikkel Lind, for Priveq’s failure to submit its audited financial statements for the year ending 31st March, 2012 in a timely manner in terms of the deadlines established in Standard Licence Condition 1.57 of Part BII of the Investment Services Rules for Professional Investor Funds. This reprimand is being published in accordance with the provisions of the MFSA Act.

06/06/2013 All Invest Company Limited The Malta Financial Services Authority has announced that, on 6 June 2013, it has suspended the investment services licence of All Invest Co. Ltd. after identifying a series of regulatory breaches. As a result, All Invest cannot accept new business and must begin an orderly transfer of its clients business.

The Authority has investigated the manner in which All Invest had sold complex investment products to retail investors. The Authority has determined that, in a number of instances, All Invest failed to act in the best interest of investors as required of all firms which provide investment services.

The Authority’s decision was based on a detailed review of a number of investor files held at All Invest, as well as information provided by the firm itself.

The following is a summary of the Authority’s findings and conclusions:

The provision of investment advice: the Authority concluded that in certain instances, investors received unsuitable advice. In such instances, All Invest also failed to establish the investor’s risk attitude and investment objective, which were in conflict with those of the financial product(s) sold. There were also instances where All Invest failed to establish if the investors possessed the relevant knowledge and experience to understand the risks involved in relation to the product(s) sold. These criteria were meant to be established at the onset of investment advice and by means of a Suitability Test.

The provision of non-advisory services: the Authority concluded that in certain instances, All Invest should not have promoted and sold complex investment products and a proper Appropriateness Test was not compiled. As a result, the firm failed to establish if such non-advisory clients possessed the relevant knowledge and experience to understand the risks involved in relation to the product(s) sold.

Record keeping: All Invest was required to maintain sufficient records to be able to demonstrate compliance with the regulations and with the conditions of its investment services licence at all times. In a number of instances, All Invest failed to obtain the required information at the time when the transaction took place.

This notice is being published in terms of the powers vested in the Authority under the provisions of the Malta Financial Services Authority Act.

Update on 4th September 2013
All Invest Company. Limited. has submitted an appeal on 10th July 2013 before the Financial Services Tribunal against the MFSA’s decision to suspend the investment services licence of All Invest Co. Ltd. in terms of the powers granted to the MFSA under article 7 of the Investment Services Act.

03/05/2013 All Invest Company Limited The Malta Financial Services Authority has been informed that All Invest Co Ltd. has contacted some of its clients and asked them to transfer their holdings to another licensed firm. The Authority’s Investment Services Rules for Investment Services Providers require licence holders to obtain the Authority’s written consent before taking any steps to cease business. On 17th April 2013, the Authority instructed All Invest Co. Ltd. to suspend, with immediate effect, the process of transferring clients’ holdings, including contacting its clients, until further instructions are received from the Authority. Notwithstanding the above, the Authority is informed that such instructions were not followed by Mr. Wallace Falzon, Director of All Invest Co. Ltd.

On the 3rd May 2013 the Authority has issued a Directive in terms of Article 15 of the Investment Services Act to All Invest Co. Ltd. All Invest is directed to immediately suspend the transfer of the clients’ holdings to other licensed firms. This directive also applies to those clients who had already signed the letter authorising such transfer but whose transfer has not been completed. All Invest Co. Ltd. was also directed to accept the request, in whatever form, of any clients who wish to withdraw their authorisation to such transfer. Such clients do not need to send their request in writing.

11/04/2013The director of Pan European Umbrella SICAV plc On the 11th April 2013, the Malta Financial Services Authority reprimanded the director of Pan European Umbrella SICAV plc, Mr Shahrdad Golban for Pan European’s failure to comply with the applicable regulations, rules and the offering document. This reprimand is being published in accordance with the provisions of the MFSA Act.
11/04/2013 Pan European Umbrella SICAV plc On the 11th April 2013, the Malta Financial Services Authority resolved, on regulatory grounds, to cancel the Collective Investment Scheme Licence of Pan European Umbrella SICAV plc, including the Licence granted to its Sub-Funds, namely Energy-4-Europe Fund and Pan European Real Estate Fund, with immediate effect. The Authority has taken this decision in terms of the powers under Article 7(3)(b) of the Investment Services Act. This notice is being published in terms of the powers vested in the Authority under the provisions of the Malta Financial Services Authority Act.
02/01/2013The directors of Royal Rainbow Fund SICAV plc On the 2nd January 2013, the Malta Financial Services Authority reprimanded the directors of Royal Rainbow Fund SICAV plc, namely Mr Salvatore di Salvatore and Mr Michele Sagramoso for Royal Rainbow’s failure to submit its audited financial statements for the year ending 31st December, 2011 in a timely manner in terms of the deadline established in Standard Licence Condition 1.57 of Part BII of the Investment Services Rules for Professional Investor Funds. This reprimand is being published in accordance with the provisions of the MFSA Act.
02/01/2013The directors of Global and Emerging Market Real Estate Funds SICAV plc On the 2nd January 2013, the Malta Financial Services Authority reprimanded the directors of Global and Emerging Market Real Estate Funds SICAV plc, namely Dr Frank Chetcuti Dimech and Mr Charalambos Psimolophitis for Global and Emerging Market’s failure to submit its audited financial statements for the year ending 31st December, 2011 in a timely manner in terms of the deadline established in Standard Licence Condition 1.84 and 1.85 of Part BI of the Investment Services Rules for Professional Investor Funds. This reprimand is being published in accordance with the provisions of the MFSA Act.
29/11/2012 Guardian Securities Limited On the 28th November, 2012, the Malta Financial Services Authority resolved, on regulatory grounds, to cancel the Investment Services Licence of Guardian Securities Limited in terms of its powers under Article 7(2)(b) of the Investment Services Act, with immediate effect.

05/10/2012 MFSP FINANCIAL MANAGEMENT LIMITED On 5th October 2012, the Malta Financial Services Authority imposed an administrative penalty of €12,112 on MFSP Financial Management Ltd, under the provisions of Article 16A of the Investment Services Act. The Authority is also restricting MFSP Financial Ltd’s licence from selling complex products both on an advisory and non-advisory basis in terms of the provisions of Article 8(1)(a) of the Investment Services Act. This restriction will remain in force for a period of three years, after which MFSP Financial Management Ltd may request the Authority to consider removing this restriction.

The Authority’s investigation, into MFSP Financial Management Ltd’s sales practices in relation to the selling of complex products to retail investors, determined that in a number of instances MFSP Financial Management Ltd failed to act in the best interest of investors, as required in terms of the applicable regulatory framework. The following is a summary of the Authority’s findings and conclusions:


Suitability and appropriateness assessment: Following the client file review as well as information provided by MFSP, the Authority came to the conclusion that there were instances (in the provision of non-advisory service) wherein a proper appropriateness test was not performed. Therefore with respect to these non-advisory clients, the Authority concluded that the concerned clients did not possess the relevant knowledge and experience to understand the risks involved in relation to the product sold. In the provision of advisory services, the Authority concluded that in certain instances, advisory clients were provided with unsuitable advice.

In these instances clients did not satisfy the following criteria: [1] clients did not possess the relevant knowledge and experience to understand to understand the risks involved in relation to the products sold; and [2] the investor’s risk attitude and investment objective were in conflict with those of the financial product sold.

The above findings represent a major concern to the Authority, particularly when one considers that a number of transactions (as reviewed by the Authority), occurred after the Authority had issued a circular on the sale of complex financial instruments in February 2009. The circular stated that Licence Holders will be retained responsible for any mis-selling of complex financial instruments.


Record keeping: MFSP Financial Management Ltd was required to maintain sufficient records to be able to demonstrate compliance with the regulations and with the conditions of its investment services licence at all times. In one instance MFSP Financial Management Ltd failed to obtain the required information at the time when the transaction took place.


File review: In view of the findings set out above the Authority will require a file review to be carried out for those clients who had invested in ARM Assured Income Plan and/or ARM Capital Growth Bond, with all resulting costs to be borne by MFSP Financial Management Ltd.


This notice is being published in terms of the powers vested in the Authority under the provisions of the Malta Financial Services Authority Act.


Updated on 29/11/2012

MFSP Financial Management Ltd. has submitted an appeal on 31st October 2012 before the Financial Services Tribunal against the following MFSA’s decisions: [1] to impose this administrative penalty; [2] to restrict MFSP Financial Management Ltd. licence from selling complex products both on an advisory and non-advisory basis and [3] to carry out a file review for those clients who had invested in ARM Assured Income Plan and/or ARM Capital Growth Bond.

04/06/2012 BANK OF VALLETTA P.L.C. With effect from 1st June 2012, the Malta Financial Services Authority imposed an administrative penalty of €203,150 on Bank of Valletta, under the provisions of article 16A of the Investment Services Act.

The Authority’s investigation, into Bank of Valletta’s sales practices in relation to the selling of units in the La Valette Multi-Manager Property Fund to investors, determined that in various instances Bank of Valletta had failed to act in the best interest of investors, as required in terms of the applicable regulatory framework. The following is a summary of the Authority’s findings and conclusions:

Disclosure to Clients:
There were various instances where investors interviewed by the Authority stated that Bank of Valletta’s officials had not provided them with adequate information or explanations about the La Valette Multi-Manager Property Fund. Nor were the implications of signing the experienced investor declaration form sufficiently well explained. Moreover, nearly all investors interviewed by the Authority as part of the investigation stated that they were not offered a copy of the prospectus of the La Valette Multi-Manager Property Fund.

Suitability: The La Valette Multi-Manager Property Fund is an unsuitable product for unsophisticated retail investors or investors having a cautious risk profile. The Authority’s findings show that there were instances where the La Valette Multi-Manager Property Fund was sold to investors with a cautious risk profile. Several advisory clients had material over-exposure to the La Valette Multi-Manager Property Fund compared with Bank of Valletta’s internal guidance, but there was no record made of the rationale for this exposure.

The Authority carried out an investigation to verify amongst other things the nature of the advisory investors. Bank of Valletta appears to have regarded many of these investors as experienced investors solely based on their self-declaration.

In several cases, there was no evidence that Bank of Valletta made any effort to verify the validity of the self-declaration made by these investors. On this basis, the Authority has concluded that on a number of occasions Bank of Valletta’s advisors did not take reasonable steps to ensure that these advisory clients were indeed experienced investors before advising them to invest in the La Valette Multi-Manager Property Fund.

Client Fact-Finds: The Authority has also found instances in which advisory investors’ client fact-finds were not updated or did not contain information which corroborated the experienced investor declaration. In some instances, advisory investors’ client fact-finds could not be found in Bank of Valletta’s records. Moreover, Bank of Valletta also failed in some cases to take reasonable steps to obtain sufficient financial and other information from each investor relevant to the services to be provided.

Staff Training: Bank of Valletta did not provide the Authority with adequate documentation and explanations which demonstrate that its officials had been provided with proper training and guidance regarding the nature, characteristics and risks relating to the La Valette Multi-Manager Property Fund, taking into account its unique features and risks and the fact that this could only be sold to experienced investors. During the period when the La Valette Multi-Manager Property Fund was launched and the majority of the sales effected, Bank of Valletta did not have adequate written procedures in place on the manner in which the selling of financial products such as the fund had to take place.

Record Keeping:
Bank of Valletta was required to maintain sufficient records to be able to demonstrate compliance with the regulations and with the conditions of its investment services licence at all times. There were instances where Bank of Valletta failed to keep appropriate records in relation to transactions in the La Valette Multi-Manager Property Fund carried out on behalf of clients.

File Review: In view of the findings set out above, the Authority has issued a Directive on the Bank to cooperate with a review of investor client files by an independent professional services firm, engaged by the Authority at the expense of the Bank. The objective of the review is to determine the validity of the experienced investor declaration held by the Bank. The Bank has been directed that, where shares in the La Valette Multi-Manager Property Fund were sold to advisory client investors who were not experienced investors under the applicable criteria, those investors should be entitled to compensation. This file review should be completed by 31st December 2012.

This notice is being published in terms of the powers vested in the Authority in terms of the Malta Financial Services Authority Act.
29/05/2012 INTERNATIONAL DIVING ASSURANCE LIMITED On the 28th May 2012, the Malta Financial Services Authority has imposed an administrative penalty of €10,000 on International Diving Assurance Ltd for carrying on business of insurance in or from a country outside Malta without authorisation. This notice is being published in terms of the powers vested in the MFSA under the Malta Financial Services Authority Act.

11/04/2012 MEDITERRANEAN INSURANCE BROKERS (MALTA) LIMITED On the 11th April 2012, the Malta Financial Services Authority has imposed an administrative penalty of €50,582.34c on Mediterranean Insurance Brokers (Malta) Ltd for failure to satisfy a requirement of, or obligation determined by an Insurance Intermediaries Rule made for the purpose of the Insurance Intermediaries Act (Cap.487) and for not keeping in a separate account monies held in a fiduciary capacity in accordance with the requirements of the insurance intermediaries legislation.
This notice is being published in terms of the powers vested in the MFSA under the Malta Financial Services Authority Act.


05/01/2012 Mr John C. Ripard On the 5th January 2011, the Malta Financial Services Authority reprimanded Mr. John C. Ripard for disposing of his holdings in the La Valette Multi Manager Propety Fund whilst in possession of sensitive information which was not available to the public and which he became privy to in his capacity as a director of the La Valette Funds SICAV plc, of which the La Valette Multi Manager Property Fund is a sub-fund. As a result of the Malta Financial Services Authority’s investigation on the redemption of units in the La Valette Multi Manager Property Fund, Mr Ripard has voluntarily tendered his resignation from the post of director on the boards of both the La Valette Funds SICAV p.l.c. and the Wignacourt Funds SICAV p.l.c. This reprimand is being published in accordance with the provisions of the Malta Financial Services Authority Act.

05/01/2012 BANK OF VALLETTA P.L.C. On 28 December 2011, the MFSA imposed an administrative penalty of €175,174 on Bank of Valetta plc in terms of article 16A of the Investment Services Act. Bank of Valletta plc was found to be in breach of a number of provisions of the Investment Services Guidelines applicable for transactions effected prior to 1 November 2007 as well as the Investment Services Rules applicable for transactions effected after the 1 November 2007 as follows:

[I] failure to act with the level of care and diligence required of licence holders in order to ensure that the investment advice or portfolio management service provided is appropriate and suitable given the customer’s particular circumstances;

[II] failure to take all reasonable steps to ensure that a client or potential client has sufficient information which he is able to understand to enable him to take informed investment decisions;

[III] failure to obtain and record the personal and financial information necessary to make appropriate recommendations or investment decisions; and

[IV] failure to maintain sufficient records.

The said breaches relate to transactions in respect of certain securities sold to investors, including perpetuals and other preferred securities issued by Lehman Bros, Royal Bank of Scotland, HBOS and others.

This notice is being published in terms of the powers vested in the MFSA under the Malta Financial Services Authority Act. Bank of Valletta has a right to appeal from this decision up to the 26 January 2012.

Updated on 31/01/2012
Bank of Valletta plc has submitted an appeal before the Financial Services Tribunal against the MFSA’s decision to impose this administrative penalty.

29/09/2011 European Insurance Group Ltd With effect from the 29th September 2011 and in terms of Article 28(1)(f) of the Insurance Business Act, MFSA appointed Mr Brian Tonna, Certified Public Accountant, of Nexia BT, Ground Floor, Tower Business Centre, Tower Street, Swatar BKR 3013, Malta, to act as liquidator of European Insurance Group Ltd for the purpose of winding up of the business of the Company.
15/06/2011 BANK OF VALLETTA P.L.C. On the 15th June 2011, an administrative penalty of €197,995 was imposed by the Malta Financial Services Authority on Bank of Valetta plc (‘BOV’) as custodian of the La Valette Multi Manager Property Fund (‘the Fund’) in terms of article 16A of the Investment Services Act. BOV was found to be in breach of:

[I] Standard Licence Condition (‘SLC’) 3.03 of Part C of the Investment Services Guidelines and SLC 2.01 of Part B of the Investment Services Rules - failure to act with the level of care and diligence required of Licence Holders with regards to the conduct of their business. BOV is considered to have wrongly applied and wrongly monitored the application by others of investment restriction (v) which is laid down in the Supplementary Prospectus and which prohibits the Fund from investing in underlying funds that may be leveraged more than 100% of ‘net assets’ being ‘total assets less total liabilities’;

[II] SLCs 11.06 and 11.11 of Part C of the Investment Services Guidelines, SLCs 9.06 and 9.11 of Part B of the Investment Services Rules and Regulation 16(2) of Legal Notice 240 of 1998 - failure to properly monitor compliance with investment restriction (v) described in the Supplementary Prospectus as limiting leverage risk of the underlying funds to 100% of ‘net assets’ being ‘total assets less total liabilities’ and to make accurate reporting in the Fund’s annual financial reports for the period ending 30th September 2006; and years ending 30th September 2007; 30th September 2008 and 30th September 2009; and

[III] SLC 1.09 of Part C of the Investment Services Guidelines and SLC 1.08 of Part B of the Investment Services Rules - failure to maintain sufficient records.

This notice is being published in terms of the powers vested in the MFSA in terms of the Malta Financial Services Authority Act (CAP.330)

15/06/2011 VALLETTA FUND MANAGEMENT LIMITED On the 15th June 2011, an administrative penalty of €149,821 was imposed by the Malta Financial Services Authority on Valletta Fund Management Ltd (‘VFM’) as Managers of the La Valette Multi Manager Property Fund (‘the Fund’) in terms of article 16A of the Investment Services Act. VFM was found to be in breach of:

[I] Standard Licence Condition (‘SLC’) 3.03 of Part C of the Investment Services Guidelines and SLC 2.01 of Part B of the Investment Services Rules - failure to act with the level of care and diligence required of Licence Holders with regards to the conduct of their business. VFM is considered as having wrongly applied investment restriction (v) which is laid down in the Supplementary Prospectus and which prohibits the Fund from investing in underlying funds that may be leveraged more than 100% of ‘net assets’ being ‘total assets less total liabilities’;

[II] SLC 1.02 of Part D of the Investment Services Guidelines and SLC 4.05 of Part B of the Investment Services Rules - failure to properly monitor its delegates, Valletta Fund Services Ltd and Insight Investment Management (Global) Limited (licensed by the UK FSA), with regards to the proper application of investment restriction (v); and

[III] SLC 1.09 of Part C of the Investment Services Guidelines and SLC 1.08 of Part B of the Investment Services Rules - failure to maintain adequate records.

This notice is being published in terms of the powers vested in the MFSA in terms of the Malta Financial Services Authority Act (CAP.330)

16/05/2011 BANK OF VALLETTA P.L.C. On the 12th May, 2011 the Malta Financial Services Authority (MFSA) reprimanded Bank of Valletta p.l.c. (‘BOV’) following its breach of Standard Licence Conditions 3.01, 3.10, 3.11 and 3.12 of Part B of the Investment Services Rules for Investment Services Providers. The said breaches refer to the provision of information by BOV to its customers in 2010, relating to a US dollar denominated issue of local corporate bonds to the public. BOV failed in various instances to ensure that the information provided to clients was fair, clear and not misleading. This reprimand is being published in accordance with the provisions of the MFSA Act (Chapter 330).

26/04/2011 21st Century Investments SICAV plc On the 14th April 2011 the MFSA resolved, on regulatory grounds, to cancel the Collective Investment Scheme Licence of 21st Century Investments SICAV plc issued in respect of its two sub-funds namely ‘21st Century Dynamic Europe Fund’ and the ‘21st Century Global Opportunities Fund’, in terms of its powers under Article 7 of the Investment Services Act, 1994.Accordingly, the company is no longer authorized to hold itself as a licensed Collective Investment Scheme within the meaning of the Act.
05/04/2011 Mediterranean Investments Holding plc. On the 15th October 2010, an administrative penalty of €30,000 was imposed on Mediterranean Investments Holdings plc. Mediterranean Investments Holding plc. was found in breach of the Listing Rules when it published a prospectus which contained changes not approved by the Listing Authority. The prospectus was published in connection with the issue of €30 million 7.15% bonds 2015 – 2017 subject to an increase by a further € 10 million in the case of exercise of an over-allotment option. The imposition of this administrative penalty is currently being appealed before the Financial Services Tribunal.
07/03/2011 All Invest Company Limited On 7th March, 2011 the Malta Financial Services Authority has reprimanded All Invest Company Limited [“All Invest”] following its breach of SLC 3.01 and SLC 3.02 (b) of Part B of the Investment Services Rules for Investment Services Providers. The breach refers to promotional material issued by All Invest which did not satisfy the requirements of SLC 3.01 and SLC 3.02 (b) of Part B of the Investment Services Rules for Investment Services providers. This reprimand is being published in terms of Article 16(8) of the Malta Financial Services Authority Act (Cap. 330).
12/07/2010 European Insurance Group Ltd Revocation of authorisation of European Insurance Group Ltd and appointment of administrator. The Malta Financial Services Authority (the MFSA), on the 12 July 2010 revoked the authorisation of European Insurance Group Ltd in terms of Article 26 of the Insurance Business Act (Cap 403) (the Act). The company has filed an appeal to the Financial Services Tribunal. The MFSA, with effect from the 6th August 2010 has, in terms of Article 28(1)(c) and (d) of the Act, appointed Deloitte, Certified Public Accountants, of Deloitte Place Mriehel Bypass Mriehel BKR 3000 Malta: to take charge of the assets of European Insurance Group Limited for the purposes of safeguarding the interests of the insureds, policyholders, creditors and shareholders of the company; and to assume control of the business of the Company.
11/06/2010 The International Banking Corporation (Malta) plc The Malta Financial Services Authority, in accordance with the provisions of the Banking Act (Chapter 371 of the laws of Malta) has revoked, with effect from 11th June 2010, the licence granted to The International Banking Corporation (Malta) plc on the 16th November 2007. On the 3rd September 2009, the Authority had restricted the banking licence of The International Banking Corporation (Malta) plc (Company registration C42805) due to circumstances affecting its majority shareholder, The International Banking Corporation B.S.C., which had been placed under administration by the Central Bank of Bahrain on the 30th July 2009.
24/05/2010 Mediterranean Investments Holding On the 14th May, 2010 the Listing Authority has reprimanded Mediterranean Investments Holding p.l.c. (‘MIH’) following its breach of the July 2008 bond prospectus. The breach refers to MIH’s decision to re-direct €19 million of the proceeds from its July 2008 bond issue to the Palm City project instead of utilising them for the Medina Tower Project in line with the provisions of the prospectus and the Company Announcement of the 14th July, 2009. This reprimand is being published in terms of the powers vested in the MFSA and the Listing Authority, including article 41A of the Financial Markets Act, 1990
05/05/2010 European Insurance Group Ltd On the 26th April 2010, l’Istituto per la Vigilanza sulle Assicurazioni Private e di Interesse Collettivo (“ISVAP”) issued the following Provvedimento n.2798 in relation to European Insurance Group’s insurance activities in Italy. Bollettino ISVAP n. 3/2010 - Provvedimento n. 2798 del 26 aprile 2010 European Insurance Group LTD con sede in Malta.

- view attached file -
23/11/2009 Mr Mark Meyer On the 6th October, 2009 an administrative penalty of Euro 1,365 was imposed on Mr Mark Meyer in his capacity as director of Public Private Real Estate Fund SICAV plc for failure of the Scheme to submit its audited Financial Statements dated 31st December, 2008 in terms of SLC 1.57 of Part B II of the Investment Services Rules for Professional Investor Funds
17/08/2009 Saadgroup Bank Europe Limited Due to developments within the last few months within the wider Saadgroup (the Group) of which SBEL forms part, as well as in the Cayman Islands through the freezing order imposed on, inter alia, the bank's holding company - Saadgroup Financial Services Company Limited’s - assets by the Grand Court of the Cayman Islands on 24 July 2009, together with other developments relating to the Group's ultimate beneficial owner, the Malta Financial Services Authority has suspended the licence of SBEL with effect from 17 August 2009
14/08/2008 CURMI & PARTNERS LTD On the 14th August 2008 an administrative penalty of €28,200 was imposed on Curmi and Partners Ltd for breaching the following requirements: [a] Investment Services Act (Control of Assets) Regulations, 1998 - Regulation 7 (1) and (2); [b] Investment Services Guidelines [applicable before the 1st November, 2007] – Part C I - SLC 1.07 (o); SLC 3.02 (e) and (i); SLC 7.01; and SLC 10.22; and [c] Investment Services Rules for Investment Services Providers [applicable from the 1st November, 2007] – Part B - SLC 7.23. The penalty was imposed in terms of Article 16 A of the Investment Services Act, 1994.
03/08/2007 Montaigne Investment (Malta) Ltd On the 22nd June 2007 the Authority resolved, on regulatory grounds, to cancel the Investment Services Licence of Montaigne Investment (Malta) Limited in terms of its powers under Article 7(1) of the Investment Services Act, 1994. This decision has now become final and operative with effect from the 22nd July, 2007.
25/04/2007 Montaigne Investment (Malta) Ltd On the 20th March 2007 the Authority suspended the Investment Services Licence of Montaigne Investment (Malta) Limited on regulatory grounds in terms of its powers under Article 7(1) of the Investment Services Act, 1994.