Over the past few years, the MFSA has pursued a strategic vision that builds upon and supports the sustainable growth and resilience of the financial services sector in Malta.
In its Annual Report and Financial Statements for 2021, recently issued, the Authority said that the sector continued to perform well. Financial services’ gross value added increased by 4% in 2021, following an increase of just over 5% in 2020.
The sector employed just under 14,000 people in 2021, an increase of 3.8% over the previous year (2020: 8.4%). This yearly rise is testament to the resilience of the sector and its importance to other sectors of the economy.
Reflecting the appetite for sustainable growth, the Authority also received 584 new applications in 2021, a considerable increase over the 265 received in 2020. The Authority launched its Authorisation Process Service Charter in 2021 to provide a clear outline of the authorisation process, what is expected from prospective applications seeking authorisation, and to clearly set out the Authority’s commitment to timeframes within the process. Within the context of its obligations to ensure rigorous assessment of applicable regulatory standards to safeguard the health of the financial system and protect investors, the Authority remains committed to the re-engineering of processes as part of its ongoing transformation to improve efficiency.
A crucial part of the MFSA’s work is its ongoing supervision across all sectors. Over 600 supervisory interactions were carried out, a third of which involved aspects related to anti-money laundering and countering the financing of terrorism. Regulatory obligations and supervisory scrutiny in the Banking sector have intensified, with the objective of strengthening banks’ resilience to systemic vulnerabilities, the sound development of the banking system, and service delivery standards of credit institutions, thereby reflecting the effective implementation of the EU banking package. MFSA continues to support the growing Insurance sector and is committed to fostering and improving the competitive position of the securities and markets sector.
As the MFSA continues to encourage higher levels of governance and to foster a more positive compliance culture across the board, enforcement actions increased by 46% in 2021.
The MFSA is committed to remaining an active contributor to the future of Malta’s financial services industry. By focusing its efforts on up-skilling talent and technology-driven process transformation, it remains committed to building and sustaining a more robust and vibrant sector, while safeguarding Malta’s financial stability and the integrity of financial markets, as well as protecting consumers.
You can download the 2021 Annual Report here.