Banks distance themselves from Panama Papers firm

Three local banks have distanced themselves from law firm Mossack Fonseca after revelations from the Panama Papers leak.

E-mails and documents from the Panama Papers show that Mossack Fonseca liked doing business with Sparkasse Bank, Mediterranean Bank and Bank of Valletta, which were recommended to clients wanting to open accounts in Malta.

The firm would charge clients around the globe up to €800 for helping to open a Maltese bank account. The account would often be linked to a shell company that hid the ultimate owner’s interest.

The Panama Papers have shone a spotlight on Mossack Fonseca’s role in the secret world of finance, which included the creation of shell companies in tax havens to conceal their clients’ wealth from the authorities.

The leaked documents show that the firm used Malta as one of its hubs through which clients could filter millions anonymously using shell companies. Clients were made to submit scans of their

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