History of the National Bank of Malta

1809  Anglo- Maltese Bank        
1812    Banco di Malta  B.Tagliaferro et fils    
1830        Joseph Scicluna et fils  Scicluna's Bank - 1926
1946      National Bank of Malta    
1969      merger B.Tagliaferro et fils    
1973      NBM Group    27 Branches
1974      Takeover Scandal - BOV*    

* At the time of the takeover in 1974 NBM had 27 Branches, and Lm43 Million is Assets. 


The Anglo Maltese Bank was set up with Lm1 million Maltese Scudi, divided into 200 shares of 5,000 scudi each. The offices were in the 'commercial rooms' of 113 St.Pauls Street Valletta, and its first President was William Higgins, an Englishman, and John Vella the first cassiere (General Manager).

The Banco di Malta was set up in 1812, with the same capital as the Anglo Maltese Bank. The first President was George Thomas Jackson and Vice President was Sir Agostino Portelli who founded the Chamber of Commerce in 1848. Other notable shareholders were Onorato Bres (historian) Vincenzo Borg Brared, Maltese patriot. Its offices were at 59 St.Domnic Street Valletta.

Soon after they were set up, both Banks started to issue their own promissory notes, first issued in Scudi and later sterling.

1812 The third Bank was also established B.Tagliaferro et fils and wholly owned by Biagio Tagliaferro, a Genoese merchant. Its offices were at 106 St John Street Valletta. Apart from Banking it owned a number of ships for the transshipment of grain from Crimean ports.

1830, Joseph Scicluna et fils. the 4th Bank was set up, owned wholly by the family of merchants and its offices were at 122 Old Theatre Street Valletta.

1857 the Anglo Maltese Bank and the Banco di Malta moved their offices to the ground floor of the new Exchange Buildings at Republic Street (Kingsway) Valletta.

1926 Joseph Scicluna et fils becomes Sciclunas Bank

1946 In January of that year the two oldest Banks, the Anglo Maltese Bank and the Banco di Malta amalgamated under the name of National Bank of Malta. Commandier Antonio Cassar Torregiani OBE as the first Chairman.

1949 Sciclunas Bank affiliated to the National Bank to form the National Bank of Malta Group

1969 B.Tagliaferro & Sons trading as Tagliaferro Bank Ltd merged with the National Bank of Malta. Tagliaferro Bank and B.Tagliaferro and Sons held 30% shares of the National Bank of Malta.

1973 National Bank Group faces a run on the bank. The Central Bank refuses to act as a lender of last resort and blocks Barclays and other banks from supporting the Group. The Government of the day, in a scandal marking Malta's Banking history, wiped out a whole generation of Banking history by forcefully taking over the business of the Bank, and assuming it's business and Assets with no compensation to its shareholders (274 shareholders). The National and Tagliaferro Banks Act 1973 was passed. On the dark day 22nd March 1974 the Bank of Valletta took over business with Lm43 Million in Assets, 27 Branches and after 9 months, a miraculous Lm1 in profit.

1974 The Maltese Government establishes BOV (Bank of Valletta) to take over the business of the National Bank of Malta. BOV sells 9.6% of its shares to the Maltese public.

1975 BOV sells 20% of its share capital to Banco di Sicilia.

1976 BOV acquires the National Bank Group's assets and liabilities

1987 BOV opens an office in London.

1990 BOV issues 4,900,000 ordinary “B” shares to the general public, which brings the public’s ownership to 28.2% and so the Government reduced its stake in the Bank of Valletta to 51.2%

1995 Government sold another lot of shares to the public is privatized after Government sold 12,000,000 shares to the public, thus reducing its stake from 51.2% to 25.2%

2007 - 274 shareholders still waiting for compensation and a proper court trial to conclude its finding.

33 years of "Justice delayed is Justice denied".