Pilatus Bank loses its banking license

The European Central Bank has withdrawn Pilatus Bank’s license, making it no longer able to operate as a credit institution

The European Central Bank has withdrawn Pilatus Bank's license with immediate effect
The European Central Bank has withdrawn Pilatus Bank's license with immediate effect

The European Central Bank has withdrawn, with immediate effect, Pilatus Bank’s authorisation to act as a credit institution.

This effectively means that Pilatus Bank is no longer able to function as a bank.

The Malta Financial Services authority said that the ECB’s Governing Council’s decision to withdraw authorisation came after a proposal to this effect, which the Authority made in June this year.

The "competent person" appointed by the MFSA remains in control of the bank, the financial services regulator said. Lawrence Connell was appointed as a competent person in April 2018.

All of the regulatory measures taken in relation to the bank also remain in full force, and applicable until further notice by the Authority, the MFSA said.

Pilatus Bank's chairman and owner, Ali Sadr Hasheminejad, is facing charges in the United States for busting American sanctions against Iran.

Hasheminejad, 38, the son of an Iranian banker and holder of a Saint Kitts and Nevis passport, was arrested in the US on 21 March on charges of having participated in a scheme to evade US sanctions and funnel more than $115 million paid under a Venezuelan construction contract through the US financial system.

He was charged in a six-count indictment filed in federal court in Manhattan accusing him of a role in a scheme to evade US economic sanctions against Iran. The case is still ongoing.

“As a result of this indictment, the MFSA is no longer satisfied that the [ultimate beneficial owner] UBO is a suitable person as required by the Banking Act,” an MFSA statement in June had read.

Any communication in relation to Pilatus Bank should be addressed to the bank on +356 2779 9999 or the MFSA on Freephone number 80074924.

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