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ECB withdraws Malta-based bank’s licence

VALLETTA, July 1 – A Malta-based bank, Satabank, has had its licence withdrawn by the European Central Bank, Finance Minister Edward Scicluna and the Malta Financial Services Authority said on Wednesday.

The decision was taken on the recommendation of the authority.

The Bulgarian-owned bank, established in 2014, had its 12,000 accounts frozen by the Maltese regulator in October 2018 as it investigated alleged money-laundering breaches and suspicious transactions running into millions of euros.

The authority said on Wednesday that auditing firm Ernst&Young would continue to act as bank administrators.

This was the second time in as many years that the ECB has withdrawn a Maltese bank’s licence. In 2018 it withdrew the licence of Pilatus Bank after it was implicated in alleged money laundering breaches. (Reporting by Chris Scicluna; Editing by Mark Potter)

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