Competitive, secure and credible: Malta’s new Financial Services strategy launched

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National Strategy for Financial Services launched: A financial services jurisdiction that is competitive, secure and credible. These are the three key objectives being sought out by the newly-launched financial services national strategy, launched by the Malta Financial Services Advisory Council (MFSAC), following input from both the industry and regulators. The core principles supporting this vision are anchored around speed, standards, simplification, specialisation and sustainability, considered as critical for Malta to leafrog o the next generation service offering in this industry.

According to Joseph Zammit Tabona, who leads the Council, the objective of the strategy for financial services is to further strengthen Malta’s position and performance in a professional and regulatory compliant manner, creating a digitally-enabled, easy-to-use financial system, driving growth for the industry and associated areas. Zammit Tabona explained that “the strategy is the fruit of all stakeholders working together towards a common objective.” The private sector, government and regulatory bodies all worked together to identify tangible and meaningful changes that will significantly improve Malta’s performance in this sector.

The comprehensive strategy is based on a detailed analysis of the financial services industry conducted by task forces composed of representatives from all the stakeholders involved. It seeks to enable Malta to position itself with a foundation of a reputable and successful international financial services jurisdiction that excels in innovation and responsiveness through a nimble and joined up regulatory framework and robust technology foundation.

The context for the development of this strategy is that over the past 30 years, Malta built a strong, performance-based financial services industry, attractive to a multitude of global players and providing a trusted and stable base for business. Malta has been no exception in facing some significant challenges. In the wake of the Financial Action Task Force grey listing in July 2021, Malta responded with urgency, resulting in it being removed from the grey list by June 2022.

While Malta retains strong fundamentals, the MFSAC sees the opportunity to target a new era of digitally-enabled financial services and to re-assert Malta’s presence in a globally competitive marketplace and from a unique European perspective. The pandemic, the current geopolitical instability and the disruption that FinTech and technology in general have introduced are transforming the way business is done, and the strategy aims at identifying concrete ways for the jurisdiction to maintain and further strengthen its position as an international financial centre.

A defined path to ensure that the planned outcomes are achieved has also been designed. The strategy will be refreshed after 18 months.

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