Fabian Demicoli

GRTU welcomes Prime Minister’s call for increased competition on interest rates amongst banks


GRTU strongly
welcomes the cooperation it is finding from the Government Authorities and
Bodies, including the Governor of the Central Bank and more recently Prime
Minister Joseph Muscat himself.

Dr
Muscat just this Monday, while inaugurating a new Banif Bank branch, stated
that he appreciates that decreasing interest rates is not an easy task but it
was important that banks increase the level of competitivity between themselves
when it comes to interest rates. This, the Prime Minister said, was important
especially for small and medium enterprises that require a more competitive
banking sector. 

GRTU
reiterates that banks, like any other business that has to compete not only
with other Maltese enterprises but also with foreign EU and non-EU companies,
must also compete between themselves and foreign banks to offer the most
competitive and advantageous services to SMEs. The cost of lending by banks
impinges heavily on the enterprise and country's competitiveness and that is
why the issue is not being taken lightly.

Maltese
banks are presenting a number of reasons why the interest rates of Maltese
banks are higher than that in other countries. GRTU encourages the stakeholders
working on this issue, namely the Ministry for Finance, the Malta Financial and
Services Authority, the Malta Competition and Consumer Affairs Authority and
the Banks to look at the so many countries that are succeeding in making
borrowing for SMEs easy and affordable. There is no rocket science involved,
others have done it and we are sure that if we keep our goals constantly in
front of us and with some good will, we can also make it, for the benefit of
everyone.

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