According to the Financial Ombudsman, banks, including Lloyds, Barclays and RBS, had been using a regulatory provision called “alternative redress” or “comparative redress” to reduce the amount they repay consumers claiming back PPI refunds. UK media also had their take on the development and claimed that these banks have used the provision since last year, with some even from 2012.

Alternative redress works by allowing banks to assume a consumer with a missing or uncertain PPI policy to be refunded with a regular-premium insurance repayment. However, consumers with single-premium insurance, which are more expensive, were given alternative redress. Former financial expert-now-journalist Cliff D’Arcy said that it was a “scandal out of a scandal” pertaining to mis sold PPI.

PPI is a policy designed to repay loans, mortgages and credit cards in case you get sick, an accident or become unemployed. However, because of its many exceptions, many consumers were unable to make use of the insurance policy. The average regular-premium PPI payout is £2870. Single-premiums cost more.

Observers said that this new scandal may reverse the FCA’s tallied 15% overall reduction of PPI complaints to banks in the second half of 2013.

Consumers are encouraged to look for their PPI complaint information, find if they were given alternative redress and demand a full refund from their banks. Consumers may also contact the Financial Ombudsman in case the banks do not fulfil their responsibilities.

Hundreds of Syrian refugees were left to drown in the Mediterranean Sea after pirates sunk their boat in failing to pay for passage. According to the refugees, Libyan traffickers left them to drown to their deaths off the coast of Malta after a dispute regarding the payment fees for their passage to Europe this month.

Maltese authorities found the survivors off 160km from Malta’s coast. It is estimated that 400 people were on board the fish boat that left from Libya on October 10 this year.

Survivors said that many people, including women and children, drowned and died in the sea. They estimate that from their unspecified original number that 200 people drowned after they were dumped at sea.

The Syrian civil war had left around two million Syrians displaced from their war-torn country. Neighbouring countries Turkey, Lebanon and Jordan are swelling in numbers as the countries try to house all refugees staying in the country as the civil war wages on.

Refugees in Turkey are currently struggling under the attack of both Syrian regime forces and Islamic fighters linked to the al-Qaeda.

The three countries have brought world attention to the humanitarian conditions of the Syrian refugees in their respective countries. They also explained how their presence is affecting the economies and capabilities each country has during the previous UN General Assembly. The three countries had called on the entire world to help shoulder the burden.

An “extraordinary” number of pilots calling in sick on Tuesday had left Air Malta financially scarred, paying €500,000 in denied boarding compensation to more than 2000 passengers who had their flights delayed in a single day.

According to Air Malta Chief Executive Peter Davies, the “sick calls” of pilots were uncalled for and illogical. He said that the company is still restructuring and its future is not yet secured. The pilots’ evasion of responsibilities had damaged Maltese tourism, the airline’s reputation and irreversible financial damages.

Dominic Azzopardi, the leader of ALPA, the airline’s pilot union, said that the airline had long operated on the perception that none of its pilots will ever report in sick. He said that he had warned the company had missed 16 people in the pilot’s complement. Azzopardi said he was rejected when he wanted to promote six first officers to captain to introduce six new pilots.

Azzopardi is also responsible for ensuring that the pilots are fit for duty, which cleared him of suspected conspiracy against the company. Airlines are not allowed to let pilots who are unfit for duty fly air vehicles.

The ALPA president also added that the Air Malta management did not schedule pilots’ rosters ahead of time properly. Without a proper system, most pilots are only called from standby to come in and fly the airplanes whenever they are available, which is inefficient and unhealthy for pilots.


Malta is a tropical country rich with beaches, sights and excursions for tourists and if you’re planning for a great summer vacation getaway, you’ll find it in this country. If it is your first time traveling to the country, here are a few things to help you get started.

1. Boat Trips
Malta features island trips by boat. If you’re looking to see the tropical beauty of its famous islands, notably Comino Island, you could go by the local boat trips offered by companies or even individuals. If you’re staying in popular tourist spots, you could ask the local authorities to help you find a suitable boat trip company.

2. Maltese Bus
The Maltese Bus is the common local transportation used by its many citizens. As a tourist, you could get by to almost everywhere from one town, to a village and to a city. The fare rates are quite low, definitely good news for those travelling on a budget.

3. Village Fiestas
The best way to enjoy Malta is to time it right that a village’s fiesta is happening. This is where you could see the true culture of the Maltese. As a religious country, most villages celebrate a particular Saint’s birthday complete with marching bands, fireworks and a festive mood in every Maltese in the area.

4. Jeep Tours
If you don’t like going on buses, you could go for Malta’s Jeep Tours, which offer extensive routes to specific vacation spots and sights.

Malta’s government refused to accept the 102 migrants who were rescued from a dinghy and left Italy to take in the migrants. Despite EU pressure, Malta’s refusal raised questions of morality and human rights from different organisations.

The survivors escaped from a Salamis oil tanker that was 80 km off the Libyan coast. Malta said that the Salamis tanker was heading for Syracuse in Italy. Malta said that the Italian authorities welcomed the Migrants aboard Salamis and diplomatic contracts between Malta, Italy and Greece were perfectly followed.

However, Maltese Prime Minister Joseph Muscat became controversial with his approach to the Salamis incident. Muscat formally announced that the government considered expelling the migrants to avoid EU pressure and “send a message” that Malta is a country with its own sovereignty and capability to make its own decisions.

The EU Affairs Commission said that it was Malta’s “humanitarian duty” in such a situation and their delay had almost breached international law. However, Muscat said that the country fulfilled its international obligations and said in a statement that it will not “intervene for irresponsible boat owners who break laws for their commercial activities”.

The Salamis tanker was heading to Malta with a shipment of oil. Most of the tankers coming from Africa and Libya are vessels operated by traffickers to get to Europe.

Malta may be a small European Union member state, but it helps to know that it’s potential on competitiveness remains to be seen. The Global Competitiveness Index indicates that the country had ranked very highly in categories such as Health, Institutions, Primary and Higher Education, training and Market Development.

However, the GCI also indicated that Malta lagged behind in terms of Labour and Market efficiency. Analysts say that this means Malta’s potential is not realized due to the lack of solidification.

Malta has a good GDP even if it is below the Euro area average. It had a growth rate of 2% in 2010, leaving behind its neighbours in the past 10 years. Malta’s economy also had the fastest growth in the Euro Union with 2.8% in 2011.

Malta’s Tourism also received a great number of tourist arrivals. In 2013, Malta is expected to go over 1.3 million tourist arrivals. In Malta, all foreign investments should be locally-owned, allowing the country to have a hold on the tourist industry of the country.

Malta’s high competitiveness and potential makes it a prime investment choice for the uncertain investor. Experts also commented that Malta’s technological achievements allowed the country to increase its economy by overcoming the natural disadvantages it has.

The payment protection insurance fraud committed by virtually every UK bank in existence is not only the biggest financial fraud in history. It directly affects the bloodline of the UK economy. With over £25 billion in estimated compensation for the entire United Kingdom, the economy could actually improve if the entire package is finally addressed to the country.

Over £15 billion had been paid out to about 380,000 customers mis sold the nefarious insurance policy. However, the Financial Ombudsman Service states that the numbers are still growing with them receiving at least 2000 PPI claims daily. The FOS estimates that banks need to redress at least 4 million more PPI claims, which means that the end of the PPI fiasco is still far in sight.

However, in 1997, the windfall gains of customers because of the de-mutualisation of building societies might happen similarly once all mis sold PPI is paid back. The de-mutualisation allowed Halifax to become a PLC in 1997 and allowed some 7.5 million customers to receive at least £1500 worth of shares. This strongly improved the economy with more car registrations and improved customer confidence.

Experts are seeing a decrease in car registrations in today’s economy, but from 2011, car registrations increased by 9.3% in 2012. However, the same might not happen as most people may use their PPI reclaim funds to repay their loans, mortgages and credit cards, which might slowly increase the economy, but not as well as 1997’s economic achievement.

For UK expats currently residing in Malta, reclaiming PPI is simple. Click here or visit and complete the quick and easy PPI claim form to get started.

Now, you might have fulfilled your residency and property ownership rights requirements in Malta, and you’ve chosen rental properties as your business. As a landlord, you’re bound to fulfil certain responsibilities you have to your tenants namely the following.

1. House Keys
As the owner of the property, you have a master key to the house, but your tenants also need to have their own house keys. If you want them to treat the property as their primary home in Malta, you will need to provide them a set of keys.

2. Disruption
As a landlord having master keys, you are not allowed to disrupt you tenants. Authorities will also count it as a violation if you enter your property rented by a tenant without their permission even if you are using your master key.

3. Repairs and Renovations
As the landlord, only you have the right to repair and renovate the different parts of your home. If your tenant complains about your property’s water systems, HVAC or gas lines, you must address this as soon as possible. All renovations, including modifying the property, even just changing the paint is your sole right, not your tenants’.

4. Monthly Charge
It is also your responsibility as landlord to collect your dues per month by informing your tenants. You have the right to evict them from the house if they do not provide what is due.

5. Safety
As the landlord of your properties, you must ensure that your tenants are in no immediate danger in living in your properties. This includes at least the 500m area around the house is completely safe.

If you’re looking to purchase a property in Malta, it’s feasible to also start a business in the country. Malta is a country rich with oil and minerals. Limestone is a primary export product of the country. Existing industries in the country include tourism, tobacco, aviation, financial and information technology services. Here are a few things you need to know if you want to open good business in Malta.

1. Tourism
Malta is a Mediterranean country and is a great tourist spot for both western and eastern tourists. Malta’s tourism is quite in its prime and taking advantage of this height is important. Look for market gaps in their tourism. For example, if you see somebody selling memorabilia, you could also sell certain kinds of memorabilia, but remember that it must be unique and must fulfil a certain gap.

2. Trade Competition
Know your competition before you enter certain industries. For example, if you’re entering the cotton and tobacco industry, there are at least three or four factories already doing the same thing. You’ll need to look for cotton and tobacco farmers and it will be difficult if they are already taken. Rental properties for tourists are great ways; but you’ll need to get approved for residential property in Malta first.

3. Know the Public Offices for Trade and Commerce
You must consider securing your trademarks such as your company name, logo and colour scheme, your patents and copyrights. Look for the Commerce Department of Malta. You could choose to register your company on your own, or you could hire a company that could incorporate your company into the system quickly for a fee.

Malta is a wonderful place to spend a vacation or live in for the rest of your lives. Like any country, Malta has a very rich history. This explains why its architecture is beautiful, scenic and clearly historic. Many tourists interested in monumental structures and architecture take interest in Malta because of its European-Mediterranean look.

Malta’s architecture derives from the use of soft globigerina limestone, which most of the island’s buildings are made out of. Of course, these structures make use of modern bricks, cement, foundation practices and other materials. The globigerina limestone does not yield to seasonal changes, which makes it a good and unique building material.

Experts trace the limestone’s history back to 3,000 BC during the Neolithic period. The limestone could be weathered to have the colour of natural sandstone and can be sculpted down to hairpin detail.

Malta’s architecture, aside from the stone, also derives from the Baroque period. Baroque utilized wide spaces and high ceilings common in most cathedrals and churches. Experts believe that Malta was under Roman rule during its reign and this is what led to the development of Baroque-style structures, to which the people of Malta lay an influence of the Mediterranean feel in architecture.

Malta has a long history of military strength starting from medieval knights to serving as a fortified base to defend against invaders. Italian military engineer Pietro Paolo Floriani strengthened the defences of the country and protected Malta from any invasion.