Zenith office front

Following the suspension of operations of Zenith Finance Limited and Zenith (Tied Insurance Intermediary) Limited by the Malta Financial Services Authority (MFSA), insurance companies MAPFRE MSV Life and MAPFRE Middlesea have assured BusinessNow.mt that “from this point onwards, and until further notice, customers will be serviced directly by ourselves”.

Zenith (Tied Insurance Intermediary) Limited is an enrolled Tied Insurance Intermediary for MAPFRE Middlesea plc and MAPFRE MSV Life plc, two leading insurance firms on the island. Following the notice of MFSA action, BusinessNow.mt reached out to the insurance companies (Middlesea and MSV Life) to ascertain whether they will be severing links with Zenith.

In MAPFRE’s replies, the companies referred this newsroom to customer notices giving assurances that from this point on, they will continue to be serviced directly, and added: “We are assessing and monitoring the situation closely, and will take any further measures as deemed appropriate”.

Zenith’s owners, Matthew Pace and Lorraine Falzon were granted bail last Friday over money laundering charges. Their case is linked to an alleged graft involving former OPM chief of staff Keith Schembri and former managing directors Allied Newspapers Adrian Hillman and Vincent Buhagiar.

Following the granting of bail, the MFSA ordered Zenith (Tied Insurance Intermediary), called Zenith Plan, to refrain from onboarding new clients or providing existing clients with any new or additional services, cease all outgoing transactions from the company’s accounts holding clients’ monies and ensure that the company and its directors maintain proper safeguard of all records relating to Zenith’s operations.

Similar action was ordered against Zenith Finance, with the MFSA appointing Stephen Paris to occupy the role of competent person for both Zenith subsidiaries.

For customers who have purchased pension plans and investment plans with Zenith, or use the company for general insurance products, MAPFRE has stressed that the latest development “does not affect their policy in any way, as this remains valid and in force directly with the respective companies (MAPFRE Middlesea and MAPFRE MSV Life)”.

“The only change will be that from this point onwards, and until further notice, such customers will be serviced directly by ourselves.”

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