2018 will go down in history as a record year for AML related scandals, fines and actions (including regulatory actions), nonetheless, before ending the first month of 2019, it appears that what was seen as a unique global treat appears to be simply one more of many banks being used to launder money and to profit from financial criminality.
The Maltese authorities fear that this case will make look previous detected cases as “child play”.
The Maltese FIU had frozen more than 12000 accounts linked to this case at SataBank and set EY as new administrator of the bank.
The dramatic analysis that brought to the decision of putting the bank under the administration of EY, was reported as being the tip of the Iceberg in this case as after the new administration it has been noted that management was running business with disregard of compliance, AML and KYC rules.
Some have compared Databank with the UK bank Revolut, as it allowed small transfers of money in a similar way, nothing that the way a person transfer 50€ does not differ in much of the way 50 Million € are transferred.
Some relevant items that are now analysed are: i) previous and current legal actions against the owner, ii) the business model of the bank with showed very little interest in core banking activities, ii)the surrounding of the payment institution licence in Luxembourg after gaining the banking licence in Malta and iv) location of servers housing the bank activity.
Even if other banks have expressed interest in buying the bank, this should be authorised by the European Central Bank and the business model changes (sources linked to the case said).