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Depositor Compensation Scheme



The information which is provided in this section is complementary to any information which the bank is required to provide you at the time when you open an account as well as on an annual basis. Look out for this information when receiving your annual bank statements, whether by mail or electronically.

The Depositor Compensation Scheme (the Scheme) is a rescue fund for depositors of failed banks which are licensed by the Malta Financial Services Authority (MFSA). We can only pay compensation if a bank is unable to meet its obligations towards depositors or has otherwise suspended payment in the manner established by LN383 of 2015.

The Scheme is managed by a Committee appointed by MFSA. This Committee is made up of persons representing the MFSA, the Central Bank, licensed investment firms, the banks and customers.

The Scheme does not regulate licensed banks. Business conducted by banks licensed under the Banking Act is regulated by MFSA.

We aim to treat everyone fairly and openly. However we can only pay compensation according to the Depositor Compensation Scheme Regulations (the Regulations). By explaining how these rules generally operate, we wish to prevent any misunderstandings or unrealistic expectations about what we can do.

 

Purpose of the Scheme

The Scheme is intended to promote confidence not only in licensed banks, but more importantly, in the financial system as a whole. It draws its justification from the fact that many depositors are not generally in a position to make a comprehensive assessment of the risks affecting a licensed bank.

 

Banks covered by the Scheme

The Scheme covers deposits made with banks licensed under the Banking Act incorporated in Malta including their branches operating anywhere in the European Economic Area (“EEA”);
Deposits placed with a branch in Malta of a bank incorporated outside the EEA are not covered by the Scheme in Malta.  Neither does the Scheme in Malta cover deposits held in branches located outside the EEA of banks established in Malta
The bank’s own literature is required to inform you which Scheme(s) the bank belongs to.  You will be able to find this information not only attached to any documentation which the bank may give you when opening an account, but also on the bank’s own website.

The Scheme in Malta can also advise you which banks participate in the Depositor Compensation Scheme in Malta. You can also click here to see an updated list of participant banks.

(The EEA stands for European Economic Area. Created in 1994, the EEA combines the countries of the European Union and member countries of EFTA (European Trade Association). Countries that belong to the EEA are: Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Cyprus, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, United Kingdom. Countries that are EEA member countries but NOT part of the European Union are: Norway, Iceland, Liechtenstein.)

 

Accounts covered by the Scheme

All deposit accounts are covered by the Scheme. This includes all savings, current and fixed deposit accounts, as well as any accounts which, at the time of the banks’ failure, may be in credit (such as credit card accounts and overdrafts).

Deposits which may be evidenced by way of a certificate or which might be linked to an investment (such as products where the principal is not repayable in full upon maturity) are not considered to be deposits and therefore not covered by the Scheme.  However, certificates of deposit made out to named persons and which existed in Malta on 2 July 2014 are covered by the Scheme.

All your deposits at the same credit institution are added up and the total compensation is subject to the limit of EUR100, 000 per depositor (irrespective of the number of accounts held by that depositor with a failed bank).  

 

Currencies covered by the Scheme

The Scheme covers all currencies without distinction.

However, in the event that the Scheme pays compensation, it will pay such compensation in euro. Therefore if your account is in any currency which is not the euro, the Scheme will exchange the amount in your account (with any accrued interest) into euro at the official exchange rate of the European Central Bank (ECB) when the Scheme is required to make such compensation. 

 

Limits applicable in the event of a claim

Balances held on deposit:
The maximum amount which the Scheme is obliged to pay to depositors of a failed bank is €100,000.

This limit applies to the total amount of deposits held by the depositor with the failed bank, irrespective of the number of accounts, the currencies of such accounts as well as the location of the bank/branch within the EEA.

The Scheme will not deduct or take into account any amounts due by the depositor to that failed bank. These amounts may include, for example, amounts due in respect to loans and overdrafts.

Any compensation payable by the Scheme will be calculated on the amounts credited to that depositor’s accounts, including any interest which is accrued up to the date that the Scheme is obliged to pay compensation.

Temporary High Balances (additional compensation):

In addition to the maximum compensation sum of €100,000, there may be instances where the depositor is entitled to receive additional compensation (up to €500,000) for specific balances held in the same accounts of that depositor.

At the time when a bank fails, a depositor might have balances in his account which may have been derived from particular life or social situations. These would normally be temporary high payments made to the depositor.

In addition to the compensation of €100,000, some depositors may therefore also qualify to receive additional compensation not exceeding €500,000 if the balances in the depositor’s account are derived from the following life events-

(a) Monies deposited in preparation for the purchase of a private residential property by the depositor;
(b) Monies which represent the proceeds of sale of a private residential property of the depositor.
(c) sums paid to the depositor in respect of:

  1. A separation, divorce or dissolution of their civil union; or
  2. Benefits payable on retirement; or
  3. A claim for compensation for unfair dismissal; or
  4. A claim for compensation for redundancy; or
  5. Benefits payable for death or bodily injury;  or
  6. A claim for compensation for wrongful conviction.

In order to claim for such additional compensation, the depositor must provide the Scheme with a written application and evidence supporting the depositor’s claim that all or part of the deposit in excess of €100,000 qualifies as a temporary high balance.

The depositor may make more than ONE claim if there are multiple events that give rise to a temporary high balance, in which case the additional compensation of up to €500,000 would apply for each and every such temporary high balance claim.

Other than the criteria listed above, a temporary high balance would be eligible for compensation if the amounts derived have been credited in the depositor’s account within six months from the date the Scheme is required to pay compensation to that depositor.  Therefore, if a depositor claims to have had a balance (derived from any situation described above) in an account for more than six months from the date the Scheme is required to pay compensation to  that depositor, the Scheme would not be obliged to pay such additional compensation as described above.

 

How compensation is calculated

Each individual account holder, irrespective of the number of accounts, currencies and location of the account, benefits from compensation of not more than €100,000
The share of each depositor of a joint account shall be considered separately in calculating compensation. In the absence of contrary provisions, the joint account shall be divided equally among the depositors.

Deposits in an account held by two or more persons as members of a business partnership, association or grouping of a similar nature, without legal personality, shall be aggregated and treated as if made by a single depositor for the purpose of calculating compensation.

Where a depositor is not absolutely entitled to the sums held in an account and another person is absolutely entitled to such sums, the person who is absolutely entitled shall be paid compensation in respect of the deposit.

In respect of deposits held by a person acting as trustee or nominee for one or more persons, the deposit making up the claim shall be deemed to belong to the beneficial owners equally unless there exists specific information which may otherwise determine the beneficial interests of such persons. It is up to the trustee or nominee to provide the Scheme with information about the names and amounts due to such beneficial owners.

 

Depositors which are not eligible for compensation

Only a few deposits or depositors ARE NOT ELIGIBLE to receive compensation from the Scheme.

These are:

  1. Deposits made by other credit institutions on their own  behalf and for their own account;
  2. Own funds of the bank; 
  3. Deposits arising out of transactions in connection with which there has been a criminal conviction for money laundering;
  4. Deposits by financial institutions;
  5. Deposits by investment firms;
  6. Deposits the holder of which has never been identified;
  7. Deposits by insurance undertakings and by reinsurance undertakings;
  8. Deposits by collective investment undertakings.
  9. Deposits by pensions and retirement funds;
  10. Deposits by public authorities.
  11. Debt securities issued by a credit institution and liabilities arising out of own acceptances and promissory notes;
  12. Deposits held with a member in a branch of that member which is located in a non-Member State;
  13. Deposits held in a branch in Malta by a bank established outside the EEA area.

 

Activation of the Scheme

Either the MFSA, as the banks’ regulator in Malta, or the Courts can determine that a bank is unable to repay its deposits for reasons which are directly related to its financial circumstances and has no current prospect of being able to do so.



Last Updated: 09 Feb, 2017