New chairman for Malta Bankers’ Association
At the recent Annual General Meeting of the Malta Bankers’ Association, Mr Charles Borg was elected as Chairman of the Board of the Association for the coming year. The other Board members are Mr Edward Cachia, Mr Mario Gauci, Mr Thomas Haag, Mr Cenk Kahraman, Ms Margrith Lutschg-Emmenegger, Mr Joseph Said, Mr Henry Schmeltzer, Mr Joaquim Silva Pinto and Mr Mark Watkinson.
The combined balance sheet total of the Association’s 26 member banks stood at € 53 billion as at the end of 2012. In this regard, Mr Borg pointed out that total assets of the 5 “core domestic banks”, which have strong links with the domestic economy, amounted to € 14.3 billion (211% of GDP). “Non-core domestic banks”, which play a more restricted and limited role in the economy, had assets totaling € 5.3 billion (78% of GDP), whilst total assets of the “international banks”, which have virtually no link with the domestic economy, amounted to € 33.3 billion (492% of GDP). “These numbers put the size of the Maltese banking sector vis-à-vis GDP in its proper perspective”, said Mr Borg.
The direct contribution of the banking sector to the local economy remains significant. The number of full time bank employees is close to 4,000, payroll last year amounted to € 130 million, taxation on profit on ordinary activities reached € 168 million, and dividends paid to resident shareholders amounted to € 59 million.
Mr Borg also noted with satisfaction that credit to the private sector continued to increase in 2012, as observed in the IMF’s 2013 Report on Malta. Loans and advances to customers by the “core domestic banks” increased to € 8.3 billion, whilst aggregate lending by all the banks amounted to just under € 19 billion.
Customers’ deposits with the “core domestic banks” also increased to € 12 billion, reflecting public trust and confidence in the system, with total deposits of all the banks now exceeding the € 20 billion mark.
“The Maltese banking sector is very well capitalized, highly liquid and profitable, and it is gratifying that in its 2013 Report on Malta, the IMF recognized that the remarkable resilience shown by Malta in the face of a major crisis in Europe was underpinned by our sound banking system”, concluded Mr Borg.