Responsibilities must be shouldered
IFSP demands that all in positions of responsibility and leadership and linked in any way to assassination, money laundering, abuse of public office, or corruption must step back in the national interest
Valletta, 29 November 2019
The IFSP notes recent events unfolding in Malta with dismay and disappointment. Malta’s reputation as an emerging international financial services centre has taken a severe bruising recently, in spite of all the hard work industry players and practitioners have put into building this industry over a number of decades, which industry employs thousands of highly skilled professionals and yields benefits to the entire country.
The IFSP expects our society’s leaders and institutions to shoulder their responsibilities without further delay and to act with integrity in full respect of the rule of law. We call upon all those in positions of responsibility and leadership to swiftly do the right thing in the national interest. It necessarily follows that anyone, at any level of our society and in any institution, who cannot take decisions objectively for any reasons, whether personal or otherwise, should step back immediately and allow others to take these decisions in the best interest of the country.
The IFSP is of the opinion that where any person has a conflict of interest as a result of close ties to anyone else who is suspected or alleged to be involved in the assassination of Ms Daphne Caruana Galizia, in money laundering, abuse of public office, or in corruption, that person is unable to continue to properly exercise any public office role. No one is above the law, and the IFSP believes that the institutions of the country need to be allowed to perform their functions without any undue influence by conflicted persons.
The financial services industry is entirely based on a jurisdiction’s sound reputation. More than that, the health of an economy overwhelmingly based upon the provision of services depends upon good reputation and trust.
Trust and good reputation are crucial in enticing the establishment of international businesses and foreign direct investment. That trust can only be achieved and maintained through integrity of the highest calibre from all, starting with the country’s leadership and continuing to every citizen. This means the country needs a culture of doing the right thing, within the parameters of the law, and in accordance with the highest industry standards.
These standards must be respected across all levels of society, whether in public service or in private employment.
It is critical that conflicts of interests are avoided. Mere perception of conflict or bias needs to be given its due weight and consideration. Anyone entrusted with the responsibility to take decisions should do so objectively, without fear or favour.
The IFSP emphasises the urgent imperative to rebuild the country’s reputation while focussing on making the necessary changes to the country’s institutions by introducing all the checks and balances which our society expects and deserves such that what has happened will never again repeat itself. The country must act fast before all is irretrievably lost.