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BUSINESSTODAY 10 December 2020

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2 NEWS 10.12.2020 APPROXIMATELY three quarters of Malta's businesses are family owned businesses. Despite that, only 30% of these businesses succeed to the next generation. e discussion held during this year's SME Week between the Family Busi- ness Office and several stakeholders, was a perfect platform to imprint the importance of family businesses, and how such entities had to rapidly trans- form their business models to combat the challenges posed by COVID-19. "We can look at 2020 as the year of setbacks, or we can define it as a test to adapt, innovate and diversify our strat- egies," Dr Joseph Gerada, Regulator at the Family Business Office said. Gerada said that family businesses can avail themselves of a network of support incentives proposed by key stakehold- ers such as banks. "Currently, there are 188 registered fam- ily businesses in Malta, and our aim is to support these businesses and encourage other SMEs to register as well," he said. "Family owned businesses tend to be the most resilient and adaptive enti- ties as they operate for the long term" Albert Frendo, Chief Credit Officer at Bank of Valletta, said. e BOV Family Business Success helps certified family businesses take the strategic leap to transfer ownership to next generations or shareholding between members. It is a product of innovative financing solutions to assist SMEs in facing adversity and regenerate themselves in difficult times. Information about registering under the Family Business Act and other in- itiatives for family businesses can be found at Supporting family businesses, 2021 and beyond HSBC Malta launches Christmas food collection initiative BNF Bank has been awarded the cov- eted Bank of the Year Malta 2020 by the prestigious global publication The Banker published by the Finan- cial Times. Regarded as the industry standard for assessing banks globally since 1926, The Banker Bank of the Year is the premier award that recog- nises the world's leading institutions. The award recognises the resilience shown by banks in the face of the pan- demic, on the way clients' needs were met with the provision of vital servic- es and the pivotal role banks play in society, all aspects that BNF upheld firmly and succeeded in over the past months. Michael Anthony Collis, Chief Exec- utive Officer and Managing Director at BNF Bank, said that "being recog- nised by a reputable publication for their efforts and results was a remark- able achievement. With significant expansion plans both locally and internationally and with the objective of being the bank of choice for personal and corporate clients, our promise is to continue to invest in our human resources, infra- structure and core products suite to ensure that our customers' needs are met and are well served throughout ones life's or business' journey," he said. The continuous support and invest- ment by the shareholders since tak- ing over in 2016 has been pivotal to the bank's new strategy - to become the bank of choice in Malta through a localised and community-based ap- proach. Despite being one of the smaller banks competing in a context of rig- orous regulation, BNF has gone from strength to strength through custom- er-centric operations, a focus on peo- ple, and constant efforts to streamline processes for maximum efficiency to serve clients in the best way possible. "This premier award, Bank of the Year Malta 2020, is yet another testi- mony of how we've managed to grow our business sustainably in a com- petitive market," Collis said. "Our praise goes to our team members, whose dedication, motivation, values and professionalism have helped us achieve such an important milestone." Collis also thanked all BNF's es- teemed customers for their trust and confidence and for being part of the Bank's success today and in the future. BNF Bank wins Bank of the Year 2020 Award Left to right: BNF Bank CEO and Managing Director Michael Anthony Collis, Chief Financial Officer Mark Micallef, Chief Risk Officer Maruska Buttigieg Gili and Chief Commercial Officer George Debono. HSBC Malta is launching a Food Col- lection initiative on behalf of Caritas Malta and Foodbank Lifeline Foun- dation to collect food for hundreds of families who are facing difficulties. A Food Collection Point has been placed at each of the bank's branch- es and its Qormi Head Office since 4 December, into which customers and employees can deposit their food do- nations. roughout the past few months, and in the wake of the Covid-19 pan- demic, both Caritas and Foodbank Malta have seen a significant increase in the number of individuals and fam- ilies needing assistance on a weekly basis. Although the numbers have stabi- lised somewhat in more recent times, they are still well above pre-pandemic levels and therefore, the need to col- lect food this festive season, is much greater than in previous years. Crawford Prentice, Head of Wealth and Personal Banking at HSBC Mal- ta said, that the Covid-19 pandemic had undoubtedly made life harder for many people in Malta, with a number of families seeing their standard of liv- ing deteriorating due to loss of income or other hardships. "HSBC Malta recognises the invalu- able, hard work of Caritas Malta and Foodbank Lifeline Foundation who are helping those most in need," he said. "We encourage everyone who visits one of our branches or our head office in Qormi to contribute: Every little donation helps."

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