My reports were correct: Bank of Valletta DID shut down Adrian Delia’s current account earlier this year

Published: September 14, 2017 at 3:34pm

Adrian Delia has released to the press documents showing that he has a savings account and a business overdraft account at the Bank of Valletta, but has been unable to provide any to show that he has still has a current account there. The amounts in the savings account and withdrawn from the overdraft account are not disclosed.

The fascinating thing is that he obtained these from the bank and they come with a covering letter from the Bank of Valletta to show it: and this when they are the kind of documents that arrive at our door from the bank in the post or which we can download via internet banking. Delia did not have to go to the bank for them. So why did he?

My original questions to him back in August were about CURRENT accounts – because those are the ones which banks close down when they have suspicious transactions under anti-money-laundering controls, and not overdraft accounts or savings accounts. I had been informed by extremely reliable sources close to the bank that Delia’s current accounts had been closed down earlier this year. The information was correct.

When pressed on this point by journalists at a press conference, Delia said that the current account (singular) which the Bank of Valletta closed down was not his but a client’s. He’s lying, of course. If it belonged to a client, it would have his client’s name on it, and nobody would have said it was his or even bothered.

LovinMalta rang me for comment. I pointed out that Adrian Delia is obviously lying and taking advantage of people’s ignorance about these matters. Lawyers do not hold bank accounts for clients. There is nothing in bank regulations or the law which makes this possible. They can no more hold a bank account for a client than I can hold a bank account for a friend.

Like everyone else, lawyers can only hold bank accounts for themselves and in their own name. And like everybody else, they can choose to use those current accounts for designated purposes like rent deposits, transactions for their workshop, household payments, or just use them generally. Some people choose to designate these accounts so that they can easily tell them apart, when they have more than one at the same bank, without looking at the account number: John Zammit A/C Rent, for example, and John Zammit A/C Workshop.

But that’s for their own personal information, has no status or bearing at law, and the person whose name is on the account is considered by the bank to be the sole owner of anything within it regardless of what it says on the tin, so to speak.

Some lawyers choose to designate the current accounts in which they hold money temporarily in the line of their work as A/C Client – but again, it is up to them and has no bearing at all at law. It is still their current account for which they are held responsible by the bank and at law.

When Adrian Delia tells the largely uninformed press and public that the current account which the Bank of Valletta closed down was HIS CLIENT’S ACCOUNT (apostrophe s, the possessive form), he is lying. If it was his client’s account, then his name wouldn’t have been on it. His client’s name would have been on it instead and nobody would have bothered or informed the press. He would have had nothing to do with it.

The Bank of Valletta shut down Adrian Delia’s current account – and I am informed that there was more than one – and the only excuse he can come up with is the same false one he used for the Barclays International account in Jersey: that it belonged to a client even though it had his name on it.

Pull the other one. And claiming, to save his skin with the press, that he acts as a front for clients, allowing them to use a current account with his name on it, is not going to win him any brownie points with banks who know that’s called a giant money-laundering risk and simply not allowed.

I said to LovinMalta that if Delia has shown them only documentary proof that he holds an overdraft account and a savings account, then it is obvious that the associated current account was closed down. Because when commercial banks open up a savings account for somebody who is in work, there is always a current account associated with it. And if he has an overdraft account, which he does, it follows that he also had a current account.

The press should also be asking why a man who has a collection of expensive cars, holidays expansively in Switzerland every year, pays a personal chauffeur and a housekeeper, keeps five children at an independent school, keeps buying up the houses that neighbour his own and who has to pay 43,000 euros in annual bank interest alone, while boasting about the millions of euros he handles in his big-contract work, is working out of an overdraft account.

The way this man is lying, making excuses and talking in circles is seriously worrying, and if his supporters were to stop behaving like crazed members of a religious sect for five minutes and think about it, they would know that my concerns about him are real and valid. I wouldn’t want him to marry my daughter if I had one. I wouldn’t even want him to go out on a date with her. I certainly don’t want him in charge of the Opposition. Fortunately, I know he’s never going to be in charge of the country.