Consensus Essential to Maintain Confidence
The Institute of Financial Services Practitioners (IFSP) is an association that brings together most of the practitioners in the financial services industry in Malta. From very small beginnings, the sector now accounts for a substantial share of Malta’s GDP, employing a large number of people directly, and facilitates many other economic activities. This success has been achieved through the painstaking work of all stakeholders in the sector over the past 25 years. Bi-partisan support for the industry has been key in all of this.
A conscious effort has been made over this time by all involved to maintain a low profile, and to pursue serious and reputable business for Malta. The result has been an industry that has grown, slowly but surely, and indeed continues to grow steadily and sustainably, while developing an invaluable level of trust and confidence in the Maltese jurisdiction and all who work within it.
The financial services sector in Malta, and indeed Malta as a whole, is currently facing a series of external challenges on a number of fronts. It is the opinion of the IFSP that the consensus which has served us so well in the past is essential if there is to be any chance of Malta meeting these challenges successfully.
In this context, the IFSP is concerned that local developments are not contributing to meeting these challenges and may, in fact, undermine Malta’s position. The repeated references to the financial services sector in the political arena, risk demolishing the consensus that has stood for 25 years, generating uncertainty in the direction the jurisdiction will be taking and eroding confidence in the sector generally.
In the IFSP’s view, this sector should not be politicized. Recent comments in Parliament concerning Prof Bannister are examples of this. Prof Bannister has been chair of the Malta Financial Services Authority for much of its existence and his leadership, drive and commitment over the years has been invaluable to the development of Malta’s financial services sector in a robust yet practical direction. His contribution has undoubtedly been to the benefit of the sector and of the Maltese economy as a whole.