Transformative Financial Services Strategy welcomed

10th April 2023 • Articles & PRs, News, Notice Board

IFSP welcomes the comprehensive 10-year strategy for financial services in Malta, drawn up by the Malta Financial Services Advisory Council (MFSAC) and launched on 29 March by the chairman of the MFSAC, Mr Joseph Zammit Tabona.

The IFSP, as the body representing financial services practitioners and whose members contributed to the drafting of the document, considers this to be a decisive moment for the sector in Malta. Over 175 initiatives have been identified and their implementation will transform the way forward for the industry.

The President of the IFSP, Mr Tonio Zarb, noted that “This is indeed a watershed moment for the financial services sector. When Government approved the strategy document last February, it was transformed from a set of ambitious aspirations of the hundred or so financial services professionals who penned it, into Government’s formal strategy for the sector. The MFSAC, supported by Finance Malta, is now tasked to implement this strategy thus effectively bringing together the regulators and practitioners. As IFSP we are committed to work closely with MFSAC to help implement this strategy.”

Financial services are a key sector of the Maltese economy, the Strategy for Financial Services 2023 document makes clear, contributing Gross Value Added of €1.24 billion in 2021, with a year on year growth of 8.3% from 2010. This makes it the sixth most important sector in the Maltese economy. The Financial Services sector has also facilitated much of the rest of Malta’s economy over the past decades, attracting and enabling foreign direct investment and trade.

This newly published Strategy for Financial Services is a crucial part of the Malta jurisdiction’s future development after the country’s swift exit from the FATF greylist, the latter achieved through effective action to deal with shortcomings identified through international inspections. This is a transformative strategy, designed to strengthen the solid base built up over the last few decades by skilled, hard-working practitioners supported by broad political support, regardless of the party in government at any point in time.

The strategy addresses Malta’s financial services offering comprehensively, looking at the legislative and regulatory framework while addressing the issue of excessive bureaucracy and aiming to significantly improve the ease of doing business, sustainability and the need for trained, competent staff. It also lays the ground for the evolution of Malta’s corporate tax system in a way that ensures it remains competitive, attractive to foreign direct investment, whilst meeting the challenges and demands of a changing world.

This Strategy for Financial Services seeks to overhaul the entire framework underpinning the sector to make it more resilient, reliable and usable. It was developed in an equally ground-breaking manner: more than 100 practitioners participated in its drafting, working with and through the Malta Financial Services Advisory Council. The strategy comes with oversight by the MFSAC and a Steering Committee, as well as an implementation plan to be placed into action together with Finance Malta and to ensure that the various milestones identified are indeed met effectively.

The IFSP looks forward to effective implementation of the strategy and, alongside other financial service sector associations and institutes, will be contributing to its success.