Banks taking too long to open accounts for businesses – Finance Minister

Last Updated on Monday, 14 March, 2022 at 3:58 pm by Andre Camilleri

Banks are taking too long to open accounts for businesses, Finance Minister Clyde Caruana, expressing the same frustration the Prime Minister had showed earlier during an activity organised by the Chamber of SMEs.

In his address, PM Abela said that he is losing patience with the banking sector. What he meant, Caruana said when asked by The Malta Independent, is that banks are taking too long to open accounts for businesses.

The Prime Minister’s comments have to be taken within the context that banks at times are taking a bit too long to open accounts and “at times they do not open them at all for certain businesses”.

He added that this is something that the government cannot accept ‘hands down’, for the simple reason that the economy needs to grow. In order to achieve this the government needs to find a compromise with the banking sector to enable anyone to open an account if there is proof of legitimacy.

Caruana said that it is not true at all that people are paying more taxes than what is due, as the PN is suggesting.

The finance minister said that what the PN is referring to is their failure to deliver their promise of decreasing the 35% tax rate. He added that a Labour government in 2013 addressed the issue. As a result of this, there was another bracket of taxpayers, who earned between €14,500 and €19,500, who benefited by paying less tax.

“The measure that we give a tax refund, which in technical terms we refer to as a negative income tax,  is nothing else but a way of how we can boost people’s income,” said Caruana.

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