On 23rd January 2024, the Malta Financial Services Authority (“MFSA”) issued a circular addressed to Company Service Providers authorised in Malta (“CSPs”) informing of, inter alia, certain changes which have been made in an effort to streamline and simplify regulatory submissions due in 2024 and beyond.
Consolidating Regulatory Submissions
The MFSA has updated the Annual Compliance Return (“ACR”), to the effect that certain regulatory submissions which were previously made via standalone documentation, will now be requested in the updated ACR, and accordingly:
- Under Threshold Class A and Class B CSPs are no longer required to submit a separate Annual Self-Declaration;
- The information which was previously required via the certificate of compliance has been included in the updated ACR and thus, CSPs are relieved from submitting a separate Certificate of Compliance;
- Individual CSPs are no longer obliged to submit a Statement of Solvency or a balance sheet; and
- Individual CSPs are no longer required to submit a standalone Annual Financial Return.
Financial Information Submission for CSPs as Partnerships
CSPs constituted as Partnerships are no longer required to submit Audited Financial Statements, Auditors’ Management Letter, and Auditors’ Report. Instead, warranted civil partnerships authorised to act as Under threshold Class A CSPs are no longer required to submit Audited Financial Statements, while all other partnerships licenced as CSPs are now required to submit the Annual Income statement (i.e. profit and loss account), the Annual balance sheet and notes explaining the income statement/balance sheet items (as necessary) within four months following the financial year-end.
Timely Submissions and Updated ACR Template
CSPs are reminded that submissions shall be made through the Licence Holder portal, and the deadlines applicable to corporate CSPs and individuals shall vary accordingly. The MFSA also reminds CSPs that extensions to any deadlines for submissions will not be granted and that the ACR template and accompanying documents are undergoing updates to align with the introduced changes and should not be downloaded or completed until the MFSA’s website is updated. A notification will be published well in advance of the deadline for submission.
Other Rulebook Changes
The changes to the Rulebook extend beyond submission requirements, covering other key matters:
- Extended Internal Controls Evaluation: The timeframe to monitor and evaluate the adequacy and effectiveness of its systems, internal mechanisms and controls, has changed from every six months to an annual basis.
- Clarification on Voluntary Cancellation Process: The Rulebook clarifies the documents and processes relevant for the voluntary cancellation of a CSP authorisation.
- Notification Requirements: The obligation has been added for Class A and Class C CSPs to notify the Authority when using an address different from the CSPs’ registered address for the provision of registered office, a business correspondence or administrative address and other related services to its CSP clients.
- Breaches: Any breaches of the Company Service Providers Act (Chapter 529 of the Laws of Malta), Regulations issued thereunder or the CSP rulebook are now to be reported in the ACR. Moreover, if a warranted civil partnership authorised to act as an Under-threshold Class A CSP or an individual CSP does not submit the ACR within the prescribed deadline, this will also be considered a breach of the obligation to provide financial information to the Authority.
- Removal of Requirement to notify the Authority of submission of ACT past due date: The requirement to notify the Authority if the ACR would be submitted after the due date has been removed, aligning with the Authority's position in the MFSA Policy Document on Non-Material Enforcement Action.
Should you require further information or guidance, please do not hesitate to contact Kirsten Debono Huskinson (firstname.lastname@example.org), Kyra Sammut (email@example.com) or Peter Mizzi (firstname.lastname@example.org).