The Minister for Finance, Prof. Edward Scicluna inaugurated a new Banif Bank (Malta) plc. branch in Pjazze de Paule, Paola, on Friday 30th May 2014.
Speaking during the inauguration, Prof. Scicluna said that the Government continues to consider the Maltese banking sector as a sound and solid sector which has managed to weather the financial storm which swept across the many continents.
“This was thanks to Malta’s regulatory mechanism, the good practices of our operators, and the sector’s own professional human resources,” Finance Minister Prof. Scicluna said.
“The Government is committed to continuing to strengthen the banking sector and introducing those legislative mechanisms which help the sector expand, while providing peace of mind to depositors.”
He noted that over a relatively short span of six years, Banif Bank (Malta) was able to open no less than 12 branches all over Malta, adding that this shows that the bank is showing its determination to expand and compete.
Welcoming Banif’s decision to open a branch in Paola so as to cater specifically for local deposit holders, micro-enterprises and SMEs in the south of Malta, Prof. Scicluna also expressed appreciation for the bank’s special relationship with small and family enterprises, given that these represent no less than 98% of the local firms.
Prof. Scicluna also noted the overall resilience of Malta’s banking sector, which proved itself as stable and weathered the financial crisis without requiring bailouts from the government as happened in other member states.
Prof. Scicluna added that he will be actively participating in the final negotiations at Euro Group and ECOFIN Council which will finalise the Banking Resolution Fund in the coming weeks. He said that through this Fund, the European Union is putting in place mechanisms that will ensure that in the case of bank failure in the Eurozone, deposits are safeguarded.
He went on to add that the Government is looking forward to working closely with local banks on various initiatives, such as the upcoming Third Pillar Pension Scheme, which will be unveiled in the coming weeks.
The Paola retail outlet was officially inaugurated by Prof. Scicluna, in the presence of the Bank’s Chairman Dr Michael Frendo and the Chief Executive Officer, Joaquim F. Silva Pinto, the branch bank manager Mr Martin Borg, the directors, heads of department, the branch team, and other distinguished guests.
Saturday 31 May 2014