In early June 2012 a number of Parliamentary Questions were submitted to the Minister of Finance relating to the Prospectus currently in force of the La Valette Property Fund. This prospectus carries a statement that it is approved by the MFSA when it is patently obvious that the Prospectus contradicts the result of the investigations of the MFSA of June 2011.
Till today the PQs remained unanswered both in and out of parliament. The Property Fund is still open for subscriptions from the general public. The Malta Financial Services Authority (MFSA) has had enough time to answer in terms of the Press Act to explain their standards of transparency and accountability as a public authority entrusted with investment protection.
These were the questions raised in parliament and to which no answer has been given by Finance Minister Tonio Fenech in Parliament or by MFSA in the media:
“Is the Hon Minister for Finance aware that the La Valette Property Fund is still open for new subscriptions on the basis of the Prospectus of the Fund currently in force dated 10th August 2010?
“Is the Minister aware that in spite of the fact that the attention of the Chairman and of the Director General of the MFSA has been drawn on several occasions that the current version of the La Valette Property Fund breaches the Investment Services Act and the Regulations issued by the MFSA itself in terms of the same Act?
“Does the Minister appreciate that this is occurring to the detriment of consumers of financial products who may be considering whether to subscribe to a fund and who are entitled to rely on the veracity of a prospectus of a Fund, especially a prospectus that states that its provisions have been approved by the MFSA?
“Does the Minister appreciate that the natural consequences of the Administrative Sanctions, Penalties and Report of the MFSA of the 16th June and 25th June 2011 in relation to Valletta Fund Management and Bank of Valletta with regards to the La Valette Property Fund – in which Reports the MFSA confirmed that both entities, in their respective roles of Manager and Custodian of the Fund, had interpreted wrongly the provisions of the prospectus relating to the investment restrictions and that they had failed to exercise due diligence and their oversight and monitoring responsibilities, and which decisions were not appealed – necessarily means that the current prospectus is incorrect, false, inconsistent and misleading?
Is the Minister aware that the failure by the La Valette Funds Sicav plc to keep “the essential elements of the Prospectus up to date” in order “for investors to make informed judgement about the investment proposed to them”, in particular about “the investment objectives, policies and restrictions of the scheme, together with the extent of use of leverage”, in terms of the MFSA Regulations, continues to take place in the most brazen manner in full view of the MFSA?
Does not the Minister of Finance believe that the impotency of MFSA to enforce its own regulations demonstrates a regulatory authority lacking in personality and effectiveness in furthering the mission entrusted to it by law?