HSBC must close its business in Malta if the tiny European Union state with a reputation for a lax approach to financial regulation does not do more to confront the scourge of money-laundering, a leading MEP has warned.
The threat to launch a potentially damaging publicity campaign against HSBC’s continued presence in Malta could raise fresh questions over the sincerity of the bank’s on-going efforts to restore its reputation after a series of scandals and compliance failures.
Sven Giegold, a German MEP with a reputation for fierce campaigning on financial transparency issues, promised to turn his fire on HSBC if the Maltese government did not take more concrete action to tighten up regulations.
“If I don’t see a change in attitude, backed up by demonstrable action, I will launch a campaign calling for HSBC to quit the island,” he told The Sunday Telegraph.
Mr Giegold, who was a member of the European