Letters to the Editor – September 16, 2021

Closing personal accounts

The Central Bank of Malta circulated a letter, dated August 10, 2021, among a category of personal account holders on their books, asking them to close their accounts by December 31, 2021. It cited the need to mitigate the risks associated with the proposed personal accounts. in anti-money laundering legislation as an underlying reason.

This decision raises several questions of principle, has various implications and is of public interest.

The first question to ask is whether it is in this spirit that the legislator enacted this law, namely the empowerment of a bank to proceed with the global closure of a category of accounts without having to ‘there is evidence of individual or collective fault. Next, we ask why a specific category of accounts was selected. For all intents and purposes, any bank account carries potential and theoretical risk.

By adopting the same reasoning, a bank manager can unilaterally and arbitrarily close an account on the basis of the anti-money laundering law without there being a material reason. Invoking such a procedure to close an account may imply that a violation of the law has taken place and may make the account holder suspect.

Taking these considerations together, one wonders whether one will be able to open a new bank account in another bank given the strict protocols to be followed when opening new accounts.

This makes us wonder whether there is a correct, consistent and consistent interpretation and application of anti-money laundering legislation throughout the banking sector.

Therefore, it is the responsibility of the competent authorities to clarify these matters and to ensure a fair and balanced understanding and implementation of the relevant law. In the final analysis, it is the public who will bear the consequences of any action that is not calculated.

Emmanuel Aquilina – BirżebbuÄ¡a

Long queues at arrivals at the airport

Thanks to COVID-19, passengers arriving at the airport are required to complete and present health-related documents at reception. This is great because the process ensures good contact tracing if someone is unlucky enough to have shared a flight with an infected person.

The queues at the airport persist. Photo: Jonathan Borg

It’s ironic, however, that the same process meant to mitigate the spread of the virus actually creates the perfect environment for the disease to thrive.

On the afternoon of September 9, I was in the MIA arrivals area and, along with over 1,000 other passengers, spent about 90 minutes trudging through a seemingly endless queue just to present my location form, my vaccination certificate and my passport. To pretend the situation was chaotic would be an understatement. Everyone was crowded like cattle and social distancing was just a buzzword to ignore.

The usual “Keep Your Distance” stickers were strategically stuck to the floor, but they were only there for cosmetic purposes. Truth be told, however, if social distancing had been respected, the queue would have extended to the runway and beyond.

Upon arriving at reception, I handed over the requested documents – clearly bar-coded – for check-in. When used correctly, barcodes ensure a quick process (like going through security with a barcode boarding pass). In the case of the MIA finish area, however, such a concept remains to be discovered. The only tool available to the overwhelmed front-line officer was a rudimentary cell phone with which he hovered over barcodes in the hope of concentrating and capturing the necessary information.

In the Malta timetables In an article entitled “Queues at the airport: more staff to be deployed” in the coming hours, promises the minister “(dated 5 July), the Minister of Tourism said that” the long lines of waiting times in the arrivals hall of the airport should be reduced considerably in the coming hours ”.

I assure him that, two months later, this is not the case.

Jesmond Camilleri – Msida

Letters to the editor should be sent to [email protected] Please include your full name, address and ID card number. The publisher may disclose personal information to any person or entity seeking to take legal action based on a published letter.

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