MFSA launches Vision 2021 strategy to transform Malta’s financial services industry
News    ·   31-01-2019
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AUTHOR: Malcolm Falzon; Julian Bajada

The Malta Financial Services Authority’s steadfast ambition to bolster Malta’s position as an international hub for excellence in financial services is embodied in its Vision 2021 strategy launched earlier today.

The MFSA’s Vision 2021 identifies six pillars that are key to fostering and supporting the right business and regulatory environment to enable forward-thinking entrepreneurs and innovators to fuse their innovative product and service offerings within an equally innovative ecosystem.

The MFSA highlighted that it will be looking beyond its primary functions as a regulator and supervisor and envisages a more inclusive model in which industry players and its international counterparts will play a central role. The MFSA underpinned the benefits of a collaborative approach, with financial services industry practitioners acting as the first line of defence in pursuing its overarching objectives of safeguarding investor protection, market integrity, and financial soundness.

The MFSA is seeking to establish the right foundations to enable FinTech start-ups and scale-ups, technology firms and established financial services providers to develop viable FinTech solutions which drive innovation and enhance access to financial products, increase competition, deliver better customer experiences, and ultimately, contribute to the long-term success of the Maltese financial services sector. In its Vision 2021, the MFSA sets out a clear roadmap, identifying the critical success factors for the years to come and how it will be endeavouring to attain them. The MFSA is adamant on hitting the ground running and will be launching a series of industry consultations covering a broad range of initiatives such as a Fintech Regulatory Sandbox and Fintech Innovation Hub, and issuing sector-specific guidelines aimed at alleviating bottlenecks and carving out new opportunities.

The MFSA’s pro-active stance in ensuring that the Maltese financial services industry is well-equipped for the future is welcome news for the industry and comes on the tail end of the momentum created with the introduction of the Virtual Financial Assets regulatory framework earlier in 2018. With technology, consumer demands, risks, threats, and opportunities in a constant state of flux, it is crucial that our regulatory architecture is well-equipped to maintain the balance between robustness and flexibility, accommodating the transformation of our economy, and yet upholding sound principles that safeguard our repute as a jurisdiction for excellence in financial services. The MFSA stressed the role of the principle of proportionality in driving innovation in financial services and has earmarked this principle as being a keystone in its strategy.

In the first of many consultations to be rolled out over the coming weeks, the MFSA has today issued its FinTech Strategy Consultation Paper, and is seeking feedback from the industry until 1st March 2019. Camilleri Preziosi’s Fintech team will be evaluating the MFSA’s strategic proposals and will be presenting its own views thereon.

Interested individuals who wish to learn more about the latest developments are invited to contact Malcolm Falzon (malcolm.falzon@camilleripreziosi.com) or Diane Bugeja (diane.bugeja@camilleripreziosi.com). 
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