Bank of Valletta will be clearing US dollar transactions through Western Union Business Solutions, the bank said in a statement.
The issue of clearing US dollar transactions has been a recurring problem for BOV after a number of international banks decided to no longer offer their correspondent banking services to the bank.
“Bank of Valletta is already receiving payments through Western Union Business Solutions from two major US dollar clearers. Full transition from Raiffeisen Bank International to Western Union Business Solutions is planned for the week starting 10 May 2021,” the bank said.
Back in October 2020, the bank had announced that Raiffeisen Bank – BOV’s last correspondent bank – had informed it that it would be seeking to terminate its relationship from 31st March. Raiffeisen had reached an agreement to extend their relationship by some more time, but the relationship will come to an end this week.
Correspondent banks are used to effect transactions in foreign currencies, particularly US dollar transactions.
In a separate announcement yesterday, the bank said it had registered €9.3 million in pre-tax profit.
“This was in line with underlying performance trends experienced over the course of last year, conditioned by subdued activity and provisioning occasioned by the COVID-19 environment,” the bank said.
It added that the bank’s performance for 2021 would be dependent on the speed of Malta’s recovery from the pandemic.
In the first quarter of the year, the bank experienced a 4% decrease in revenue compared to the previous year, while operating costs increased by 4%.
Compared to December 2020, the bank said that net loans and advances to customers increased by 1.7%, with growth reported in both business and home loans, the latter being the main driver.
There was an increase in customer deposits of 1.3% since December 2020, predominantly in shorter-term deposits.
What do you make of this announcement?