Christian Borg, the owner of No Deposit Cars and an alleged kidnapper, has failed to reverse a decision made by his bank – Bank of Valletta – to close all of his accounts amid ongoing criminal investigations.
Bank of Valletta decided to terminate all banking services with Borg, which included the closure of all his bank accounts. Borg lodged a legal challenge and asked the Court to reverse the decision, claiming it would hurt him and his businesses.
But the Court, presided by Judge Josette Demicoli, refused to issue a warrant of prohibitory injunction against the bank, stating they have every legal right to decide who to accept as clients.
In January 2022, Borg, 29 at the time and already a multi-millionaire through various businesses, including a car hire business, was arraigned in court, together with others, accused of kidnapping a man, threatening to chop off his fingers and rape his sister.
It later emerged that Borg, who had also conducted business with Prime Minister Robert Abela and said on social media he considers him a personal friend, was under police investigation over possible money laundering and drug dealing activity.
The investigations are ongoing and have not led to any charges against Borg.
Last May, Bank of Valletta informed Borg that it had decided to terminate its relationship with him and all companies connected to him.
The bank informed Borg that all his accounts would be closed within two days and told him to find another financial institution. The bank gave Borg an additional grace period of four months, with some restrictions in place.
When presenting his legal challenge, Borg said he had tried to find another bank but was unsuccessful.
Arguing that BOV had no right to close his accounts, as this would jeopardise his businesses and prevent him from paying his children’s school fees, he said he always had a good relationship with the bank and had complied with all their requests.
As evidence of this, Borg said that until last January, BOV had issued him with a platinum credit card – reserved for wealthy account holders – after he passed all the necessary due diligence.
Borg accused the bank of having insufficient reason to terminate his banking facilities and claimed it was all due to media reporting.
The bank insisted it had every right to bank with whoever it deemed fit, arguing that while adverse media about Borg could not be ignored, it had different reasons to close all his accounts and was not obliged to explain them.
In its decree, the Court upheld BOV’s arguments that it has a right to terminate its relationship with Borg without a specific reason.
It said Borg could try to get a remedy through the Financial Services Arbiter, the competent authority to judge the matter in the context of established EU law, which entitles every citizen to a bank account.
Following his arraignment, media reports focused on the wealth the 29-year-old had accumulated in around a decade.
At just 19, Borg had started a lucrative car hire business, which was soon worth millions of euros and with a fleet of thousands of vehicles.
Borg had also claimed close ties with the prime minister, including doing business together on a Żabbar property when Abela was also acting as his lawyer.
Between 2016 and 2020, Borg declared an income of just €1.1 million for tax purposes even though he purchased properties of over €2.1 million in value during the same period.
Investigators suspect Borg may have used his car hire business to launder money from other criminal activity, including drug trafficking.
So far, no charges have been issued, and investigations continue.