“I would definitely not go to a greylisted jurisdiction” – MFSA chief
The senior Maltese financial regulator (MFSA) official has told parliament that he will not open his own business in a greylisted country, such as Malta.
Professor John Mamo, 75, a prominent businessman, made the statement when he appeared before the Public Appointments Committee, seeking reconfirmation as MFSA President.
Acknowledging that his last year in office was overtaken by problems caused by Malta’s gray list, he stressed the need for the country to get out of it as soon as possible.
“That causes us problems. If I were to open my own business, I would definitely not go to a greylisted jurisdiction. It’s so obvious,” he said.
He admitted that very few companies decide to come to the island, despite the fact that he downplays the number of companies that have left.
Passing responsibility for the gray list to other entities, including what he called the “tax avoidance problem”, which he said falls under the Ministry of Finance, Mamo said he was satisfied that, from the from the MFSA’s point of view, the regulator lives up to the required standards.
Mamo described MFSA CEO Joe Gavin’s decision to withdraw from an interview with The Times of Malta as “a comedy of errors”. He pointed out that it was the MFSA who had invited the Times of Malta for an interview so that Gavin would not understand why the journalist was trying to grill him.
“He is Irish and moody. But the CEO shouldn’t be judged on a shoddy (biċċa) interview,” Mamo said. He also criticized the newspaper for broadcasting the interview. He claimed it was originally agreed that the entire interview would be cancelled.
Mamo, who chaired the MFSA for three years, was approved for another one-year term thanks to the support of government officials. Opposition MPs voted against.
PN MP Carmelo Mifsud Bonnici said that just a year ago the opposition voted against Mamo’s appointment due to the scandals that had hit the regulator under his leadership. “We see no reason to change our position.”
While Mamo was at the helm, the MFSA was hit by scandals at its senior levels, including former CEO Joseph Cuschieri and Consul General Edwina Licari – still in office – unmasked for taking a government-funded vacation. Yorgen Fenech business.
Millions were also spent through direct orders with no accountability while Mamo approved Cushieri getting extra pay for attending meetings that were part of his responsibilities.