The Bank of Valletta has lost its last correspondent bank for US dollar transactions, after BOV announced that ING will stop clearing such transactions as of 14 December 2019.
“Bank of Valletta plc has intensified its endeavours to engage alternative correspondents to minimise any possible operational disruption to its business and its clients,” BOV said in a statement.
ING has been a centre of money-laundering issues within the EU and was fined €775 million in September 2018 after admitting that criminals had been able to use their accounts.
A de-risking exercise followed, with ING looking to offload its banking relationships with smaller jurisdictions that are viewed as high-risk.
Malta’s attempts to combat financial crime have been taken to task on the international stage, which intensified after the Prime Minister failed to take concrete action against his chief of staff Keith Schembri and Tourism Minister Konrad Mizzi over the Panama Papers.
ING was the last bank which offered US Dollar services to BOV after Deutsche Bank left two years ago.
It should be noted that correspondent banking relationships have been in decline due to the increased risks of doing so.