The Malta Financial Services Authority (MFSA) is the single regulator for financial services in Malta. It was established by law on 23 July 2002 taking over supervisory functions previously carried out by the Central Bank of Malta, the Malta Stock Exchange and the Malta Financial Services Centre. The Authority is a fully autonomous public institution and reports to Parliament on an annual basis.
The financial services sector incorporates all financial activity including that of credit institutions, financial and electronic money institutions, securities and investment services companies, regulated markets, insurance companies, pension schemes and trustees. The MFSA also manages the Registry of Companies and has also been appointed as the Listing Authority.
The organisational structure of the MFSA ensures that the regulatory and operational functions of the Authority are exercised within strict legal demarcations. The Board of Governors, presided by the Chairman, sets out policy and general direction and is assisted by the Legal and International Affairs Unit. The Director of this Unit is also the Secretary to the Board of Governors. The Supervisory Council, headed by the Director General, is exclusively responsible for licencing, supervision and regulation and is composed of the Directors responsible for Authorisation, Banking Supervision, Securities and Markets Supervision, Insurance and Pensions Supervision, and Regulatory Development. Operations are the responsibility of the Board of Management and Resources composed of the Directors responsible for Communications, Human Resource Development, Information Technology and Administration chaired by the Chief Operations Officer. Co-ordination between these three organs is ensured at Co-ordination Committee level.
The MFSA is also responsible for consumer education and consumer protection in the financial services sector. This function is vested in the Consumer Complaints Manager.
Malta is a jurisdiction that complies with and helps develop international best practice and is actively involved with the OECD, the EU and the Commonwealth in modelling global regulatory policy. The MFSA is a member of the European Banking Authority (EBA), the European Insurance and Occupational Pensions Authority (EIOPA) and the European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA). The Authority is also a member of the International Organisation of Securities Commissions (IOSCO) and the International Association of Insurance Supervisors (IAIS) and a signatory of the Multilateral Memorandum of Understanding with other members of these Institutions.
The MFSA has a staff of over 212 people, consisting of specialist regulators, lawyers, accountants and support staff facilitating the formulation of policy, decision making and support for both licence holders and consumers. The MFSA premises also house the International Tax Unit of the Inland Revenue Department and the Registry of Companies Registry.
Malta’s development as an international financial centre is reflected in the range of financial services available. Malta continues to be positively ranked for its performance in the financial sector. The World Economic Forum’s Global Competitiveness Index 2012-2013 ranked Malta 15th out of 144 countries for its financial market development.
The Maltese financial services industry is both diversified and has a lot of depth. It operates locally, at the European level and is ready to reach globally
The MFSA believes in the development of a dynamic framework that enables the industry to develop new products and services within a sound regulatory environment compliant with international standards. Facilitating the ongoing exchange of ideas and information between the regulatory development and product innovation processes is a key to this objective