MFSA launches Vision 2021
Proactive scheme will be carried out over the next three years
The Malta Financial Services Authority has launched its three year strategy for 2021. The long-term plan aims to ‘enhance its position as a forward-looking, proactive, and trustworthy supervisory authority’ – a sentiment which was echoed during the launch by the Hon. Joseph Muscat, Prime Minister of Malta, who re-affirmed government support for the MFSA’s transformation and reform programme.
Vision 2021 provides the authoritative body with guidelines to safeguard the integrity of the markets and maintain stability within Malta’s budding financial sector.
The three-year strategy also articulates the authority’s approach to risk management, conduct, enforcement, and anti-money laundering (AML)/counter-financing of terrorism (CFT) supervision. As part of the initiative, a risk committee will see the implementation and design of the authority’s risk management policies, while a newly set up audit committee will provide further assessment of the governance structure.
Despite a number of setbacks for the MFSA last year – such as the collapse of Nemea Bank and the closure of Pilatus, Chairman John Mamo wrote decisively in his forward to the document about his desire for the MFSA to ‘be proactive in monitoring the trends in the financial market and in identifying potential risks or indicators of misconduct at an early stage’.
MFSA CEO Joseph Cuschieri also tackled the issue, saying the MFSA acknowledged that “instances of misconduct by licensed entities have an impact on the integrity and stability of the financial market and public trust.
In his speech, he said that, given the challenges, the regulator could not shy away from making the necessary investment in people, technology and organisational structures, saying the MFSA was facing a “race to the top”.
Parliamentary Secretary for Financial Services, Digital Economy and Innovation Silvio Schembri confirmed that a consultative body would be set up to serve as a forum for discussions between the government, the regulator and practitioners, to better understand the difficulties and anticipate any developments on the international scenario.
“It is crucial to have the right mindset if we are to achieve this ambitious goal,” he told the audience. Let’s elevate it to an authority that is well ahead of its time.”
The MFSA also published a consultation document outlining its FinTech strategy which includes the introduction of a ‘FinTech Regulatory Sandbox’ and a FinTech Innovation Hub.