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EU banking watchdog backs proposal to withdraw Malta's Pilatus bank licence

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By Reuters

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – The Maltese financial regulator’s decision to recommend the withdrawal of the banking licence of Pilatus Bank due to the indictment of its chairman for money laundering was “an appropriate step,” the European Banking Authority said.

In a letter, dated Sept. 24 and sent to European Union lawmakers, EBA chairman Andrea Enria said the move by the Maltese Financial Services Authority was justified by “the current circumstances of the bank’s ultimate beneficial owner” Ali Sadr Hashemi Nejad who was indicted in the United States in March for bank fraud.

The European Central bank is expected to decide on the withdrawal of Pilatus’s licence as early as this week.

(Reporting by Francesco Guarascio; editing by Philip Blenkinsop)