Pricewaterhouse takes over shuttered Pilatus Bank

The audit firm will replace Robert Ancilleri as competent person for the bank

PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) will be serving as competent person for the shuttered Pilatus Bank Malta, the MFSA has announced.

The audit firm will be taking over control of the bank from its previous competent person Robert Ancilleri.

According to a statement by the MFSA, Ancilleri resigned as competent person on 23 April this year.

Ancilleri had been selected by the MFSA back in January after Lawrence Connell, the person occupying the role since 2018, resigned with immediate effect.

The bank's shareholders filed American judicial proceedings against Connell, as the bank wants Connell to provide it with all the information in his hand since being installed by the MFSA, so that Pilatus can file proceedings against the European Central Bank.

Meanwhile, it turned out that Ancilleri was a non-executive director on companies owned by Pilatus Bank's Maltese lawyers, DF Advocates.

The law firm had issued statements on behalf of Pilatus Bank when the Egrant inquiry was published, in which Pilatus took to task critics of the bank and its services rendered to various Maltese individuals and Azeri oligarchs.

Pilatus bank was implicated in the Egrant affair, when the late journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia claimed that the bank had processed a $1 million payment from the Aliyevs of Azerbaijan to the wife of former prime minister Joseph Muscat.

The allegation was disproven by a Maltese magisterial inquiry along with other allegations she made about Pilatus Bank, but by then the banks’ other dealings for Azerbaijan had come under the lens of financial investigators.