Maltawinds has received a considerable amount of complaints on fines sent by the Registry of Companies within the Malta Financial Services Authorities. It is claimed that there are a number of errors in these penalties sent to various companies. It seems that no one understands how these penalties are being calculated with the MFSA receiving a number of queries in this respect.
It seems that MFSA has acknowledged that their software is not working properly to the extent that they commissioned new software to change the current one. It seems however, that the same company that did the original software has been commissioned again in spite of the serious errors. Many are questioning if this is truly an error by the system or whether it was a convenient move to generate more funds for the financial services authority. Certain persons are linking this to the increased pressure that MFSA is receiving to generate more funds to pass to Government.
The request from Government to generate more funds was intended, hopefully, to generate these through a growth in the industry. A similar claim was done by Hon Marlene Farrugia with respect to wardens whereby she claims that wardens are given quotas in order to generate funds. Other similar claims are on the penalties and interest claimed by the VAT department. Questionable is also the interest charged by the Inland Revenue Department in the light of the late refund issued by the International Tax Unit (again part of the MFSA). Are pressures so high to generate funds from the sector that anything goes? What about trust in authorities and reputational risk?
Similar indecent tactics are claimed to have been used also in the past but one questions why similar tactics, if any, are being allowed if the economy is growing. Furthermore, it has been claimed on various occasions that the financial services sector is growing and remains a healthy one. Although, in recent past, many questioned whether the growth in the sector is really growing at the momentum claimed. If one pulls out the gaming sector from the formula is the sector healthy as it is said to be? If the Malta Financial Services Authority has to resort to similar tactics, certainly, it needs to justify why, to state the real growth figures and to state why the general public should consider it as a reputable Authority under the circumstances. If on the other hand, it is not using similar tactics it certainly needs to state how and when it is going to refund all the persons that were unduly charged either through the system error or through the late refunds. Furthermore, if this is a system error, why did MFSA engage the same company to do the new software possibly without having a tendering process?
Time to enquire what is happening in this apparent Republic.