It has been some time since Maltastar dedicated some space to the MFSA. The last article on Maltastar was on 23rd July under the title “BOV’s Property Fund Prospectus – Questions too hot to handle”. The article was based on a Parliamentary Question submitted by myself earlier in the year that remained unanswered until Parliament adjourned, possibly to never never. The PQ makes a most serious allegation namely that the currently valid Prospectus for the Property Fund – which fund is still available for subscriptions to the general public – is “false, incorrect, misleading and inconsistent” with the breaches of the prospectus established by the MFSA itself and hence the MFSA has scandalously allowed the Prospectus to remain in force and not in accordance with the MFSA’s own Rules.
The article was repeated on the Sunday edition of the Malta Today newspaper on the 29th July.
Both articles were not published with any parliamentary privilege.
In both articles, I invited MFSA to reply in terms of the Press Act with any corrections or denial.
Indeed the Chairman and Director General of the MFSA are not only ineffective, toothless, impotent and lacking in personality as they have already been labelled by others in the past, but are also shameless. They take the cowardly approach of ignoring these most serious allegations that they cannot refute on account of their veracity in the hope of not stirring a controversy and of the matter dying a natural death whilst they continue to pocket their top salaries for Malta. In a 2010 PQ, the Minister of Finance had replied that Chairman Joseph Bannister had a salary package of €84,372 plus naturally some added pocket money by way of car and other allowances and the payment of his mobile phone bill, twice the salary package of a judge. Only recently, in an attempt to justify the way he had ignored a poor consumer’s complaint, Prof Bannister had humbly apologised “for not replying earlier as matters concerning the future of the euro zone currently occupy most of my time”. Poor chap living on a salary of €84,372 plus when he could command the salary of ECB President Draghi or German Finance Minister Schauble!
Will he and the other keeper of consciences Andre’ Camilleri have a modicum of shame and proceed to do the decent thing and resign in the face of almost total abandonment of their statutory mission, restricting themselves to doing only what is inevitable and irrefutable, and in any case too little too late?
Meantime, the MFSA announced exercise into validating the investors’ complaints in which they allege they did not satisfy the Experienced Investor definition formal criteria, let alone the substantive meaning of it, is moving at a snail’s pace. The appointment of an external independent services firm by the MFSA does not appear to have been made, and naturally the MFSA does not feel any obligation to keep the general public informed about it in the same way they never account inform or explain the exercise of their statutory discretionary powers, most often manifestly not in the interests of the general investing public they are meant to protect.
Informed sources say that if the firm were to be appointed and the exercise starts in earnest tomorrow, it is probable that such an exercise would take much longer than the end of this year as had been promised by the MFSA in its Media Release of the 4th June 2012. But of course by now the poor consumer complainants are used to placing little value in MFSA indications of expected dates. All will remember that the misselling exercise published this June had already been described as “completed and imminent” 10 months earlier, in August 2010. Not only the investigation results were published much later, in June 2012, but the MFSA stated that the complaint validation exercise had yet to start.
E’ io pago! Says the great and legendary Toto’ in his 47 Morto che Parla.