Financial services company that caters for the ultra-rich fined €142k by the MFSA

Last Updated on Tuesday, 28 December, 2021 at 2:44 pm by Andre Camilleri

A pre-paid credit card company that caters for “high and ultra-high net worth individuals worldwide” has been slapped with a €142,000 administrative penalty by the financial services watchdog.

In a statement issued on its website, the MFSA said it had fined Insignia Cards Ltd over a number of breaches.

The MFSA determined that the company had breached rules related to proper record keeping arrangements and had failed to properly safeguard clients’ funds.

It also found failures in alignment of internal documentation with statutory obligations, failure to notify the Authority of the outsourcing of operational functions, weak governance arrangements and a breaches related to the provision of information to the authority.

Besides the €142,000 fine, the company was also ordered to cease the prefunding of charge cards with immediate effect, cease the processing of payments from Insignia Global Solutions Limited and Insignia Med Limited with immediate effect, and appoint an independent third-party firm to provide guidance.

The authority’s decision may be appealed before the Financial Services Tribunal within the period established by the applicable law.

Insignia Cards was in the news last year after it had employed former Economy Minister Chris Cardona. The latter resigned amid the Daphne Caruana Galizia murder scandal, which pointed to involvement by government officials.

In December of 2020, the company had already been fined €373,000 by the Financial Intelligence Analysis Unit (FIAU) over money laundering compliance breaches.

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