The Malta Financial Services Authority (MFSA) is the single regulator for financial services in Malta and was formally established on the 23 July 2002 with a clear remit to take over the supervisory role previously carried out by the Central Bank of Malta, the Malta Stock Exchange and the Malta Financial Services Centre.
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 is organised in such a way as to ensure that the regulatory and operational functions of the Authority are exercised within strict legal demarcations. Policy and general direction is provided by the Board of Governors which is also assisted by the Legal and International Affairs Unit. The Supervisory Council 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 fall within the responsibility of the Board of Management and Resources, 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.
Malta complies with and is active in the development of international best practice. As such it 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 complement 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.
Malta’s development as an international financial centre is reflected in the range of financial services available which are diversified. Malta continues to be positively ranked for its performance in this sector. The MFSA continues to develop a dynamic framework, facilitating the industry’s ability to introduce innovative products and services within a sound yet flexible regulatory environment, compliant with international standards.