Speaking during the inauguration, Minister Scicluna said Malta is where it is today, receiving good news from the European Commission and various credit rating agencies, because of the stability the whole country has worked hard to retain.
“This stability is not just economic, or political. It is also financial. This is thanks to our banks, including HSBC, which has meant that we have the stability where we can look forward with enthusiasm, instead of looking back in order to patch up here and there,” Prof. Scicluna said.
Prof. Scicluna took the occasion to thank Malta’s leading banks, including HSBC, for playing a leading role in keeping the island financial stable. He noted that the world’s response to the financial crisis was to introduce more onerous regulations and legal requires, many of which are still coming into force now.
“I am pleased to note that HSBC, along with other Maltese leading banks, emerged from the Asset Quality Review carried out by the European Central Bank with flying colours,” Prof. Scicluna said. He noted that this was despite how a considerable number of banks out of the 123 banks from all over Europe took place, not only Maltese bank failed the test.
“This is a very significant achievement. It confirms what we have always known; that our banks are stable and adhere to sound and highly responsible practices, unlike some other banks in other parts of the world.”
He also welcomed how HSBC brought about a considerable leap forward in the banking sector in Malta by modernising banking practises, and introducing a greater focus on efficiency and cost-effectiveness.
The refurbished branch is the latest in a series of revamped HSBC branches across the Maltese islands. The refurbishment represents an investment in excess of €1.2m and took 6 months to complete. This is the 14th branch that HSBC has refurbished.
The branch re-opening ceremony was officially inaugurated by the Minister for Finance Professor Edward Scicluna, and presided by HSBC Malta CEO Mark Watkinson. Head of HSBC Malta’s Retail Banking and Wealth Management Paul Steel, and Mayor of Valletta Dr Alexiei Dingli, were also present, along with other invited guests and officials from the National Commission for Persons with Disability (KNPD) and the Foundation for Information Technology Accessibility (FITA).
Mark Watkinson said: “Valletta is central to the Maltese economy and HSBC is strategically placed right in the heart of the capital to provide customers with top class, financial services and express banking. The branch re-opening is the latest in a series of investments that the Bank is dedicating toward improving its operations in Malta.”
Wednesday 5th November 2014