Depositors and clients at Bulgarian-owned Satabank in Malta, shut down by the local regulator, MFSA, are irate because the hourly “international” rate being charged by EY (Ernst & Young) to review client records for evidence of money laundering and terrorist financing are charging €689 an hour of partners’ time. At this rate, the amount of money ultimately left to distribute to clients will be severely depleted. That is clearly an excessive fee, especially given the tasks EY needs to complete before reimbursing bank customers. Who approved this sweetheart deal, which was awarded to a local EY office, which then brought in “experts” at obscenely high hourly rates.

Not at $777/an hour, they aren’t

This is not the first time Maltese regulators have meted out extremely lucrative contracts to consultants, which have resulted in bank customers not being able to recover their deposits. No wonder the European Union is looking closely at Malta these days.

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