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Two weeks after the accounts at Sata Bank has been frozen no real timeline has been released. Simple steps to take care of the worries of the investors we have worked so hard to attract such as a customer care system is still completely lacking. Businesses are being given close to no information outside the bank’s doorstep and business closures are knocking on our doors. Responsibility must be taken for the additional damage that is being created.
The fact that the Bank had to be closed and immediate action had to be taken is not being put into question. The regulators are the only ones aware of what the extent of the problems are and how best to deal with them, within the powers conferred to them.
The situation is however very grave. Apart from the fact that this is hitting Malta’s reputation very hard and many businesses that have come to invest in Malta have told GRTU that they will not look at Malta ever again, there is a level of unfairness where the good has been castigated with the bad.
The GRTU is following closely the Satabank issue. Satabank has many clients in Malta who had opened accounts with Satabank and used also its EPOS services. These clients are now facing grave financial and cashflow difficulties.
The issue experienced in the recent past with vast numbers of workers finding difficulties setting up a bank account through the major banks in Malta caused a shift to E-money accounts in Satabank and elsewhere. These, many Maltese businesses and workers, who have Satabank accounts, are now in a state of desperation. The information on what is about to happen is very scarce, with calls to Satabank being diverted to a call centre in Bulgaria.
Over 200 enterprise owners met this morning for the 2019 edition of GRTU Malta Chambers of SME’s successful event - The SME Conference: Year in Review, co-hosted by Business First.
Opening the conference, the Honorable Minister Chris Cardona said that “SMEs are our country’s biggest generator for jobs and prosperity. Listening to our businesses’ needs and outlooks is essential for us to create meaningful change and adopt accordingly. GRTU is helping us do that. Our collaboration has undoubtedly benefited our local business and economy greatly”.
This year’s conference focused on economic growth and the results of the GRTU study on the subject were published during the event.
GRTU President, Mr Paul Abela stated that “Our economy is doing very well and the figures are testament of this. When looking deeper however one finds that not all businesses are experiencing it in the same way. It is our duty and that of our policy makers to understand what is happening on the ground and make sure that the distribution of wealth is reaching all our economic sectors.”
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