Credit & Financial Institutions

With some of the safest and most liquid banks in the eurozone, Malta is establishing itself as an international credit and financial institution center and hub for finance in the Mediterranean region.

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Malta continues to be an attractive domicile for investors and financial entities seeking a dynamic European base that is professional, practical, safe and cost effective.

Malta’s credit and financial institution system remains well-capitalised, liquid, and profitable; however, banks’ risk appetite has become ever more conservative, which means the island is increasingly turning to FinTech players for the next stages of growth.

Malta has one of Europe’s healthiest and most profitable credit and financial institution sector, yet, concerns that the country is not doing enough to keep the sector free from crime, coupled with the fact that some market segments of the island’s finance centre remain under-served, mean this sector is in need of adjustment. The island’s ever-growing economy has exposed the need to expand the scope of credit and financial institution services, especially to serve smaller corporate clients. However, increasing the number of credit and financial institutions is a tough challenge as the global banking sector has retreated into consolidation mode due to heightened capital requirements and rising compliance costs, which have affected banks’ risk appetite. The good news though is that fintech companies and neobanks have Malta on their radar, and the Malta Financial Services Authority (MFSA) expects to welcome new entrants to Malta’s financial scene in the near future.

Why Malta for Credit and Financial Institutions Guide | 2023 Edition

Download your Why Malta for Credit and Financial Institutions Guide; contents include Banking and Fintech, Digital Opportunities, Tech-friendly Ecosystem, a dynamic industry.

Credit and Financial Institutions – Our Sector at a Glance

From trade finance and corporate banking, to payments and fintech, Malta has attracted companies across the entire banking and finance spectrum due to a range of converging factors: EU membership, strong support for technology and a cost-effective operating environment.
  • Banking and FinTech

Banking has long been a cornerstone of our financial services sector, and the sector continues to evolve. Today, no less than 24 banks and 50 financial institutions are located here. While some institutions focus on the local market, most banks offer specialist services. These international banks do not take local deposits, but rather transact business with non-residents, focus on intragroup transactions supporting their parent bank abroad or concentrate their activities on areas such as trade and project finance, syndicated loans and investment banking. Many of them hold executive responsibility for specialised areas of their group’s global operations. In addition, a considerable number of payment providers and Fintechs have chosen Malta as their EU hub. They have nurtured a new financial cluster that continues to see strong investment.

  • Digital Opportunities

In Malta, as elsewhere, Fintechs are continuing to transform how financial services are delivered to consumers. While there is demand for traditional banking services that support the niches that Malta’s finance sector has built up, ranging from wealth management and investment services to maritime and aviation finance, the greatest opportunity currently lies in the development of new digital solutions. Payment providers and financial institutions in the FinTech space have a set up in Malta to serve customers in the EU and the neighbouring countries of North Africa. The expectation is that Africa’s demand for digital financial services, especially as the population remains largely un- or under-banked – will continue to increase. Malta offers Fintechs a base in the European Union from where to target the emerging economies of the region.

  • Tech-Friendly Ecosystem

We have a fast-growing digital sector, which is quickly becoming the largest driver of new banking solutions and payment innovation. It strengthens our competitive position as the ideal hub for investors, start-ups and established FinTech companies wanting to make inroads in the banking sphere. Our Government and regulatory authorities are very supportive of new technologies, including AI, IoT and quantum technologies. There is a willingness to get new ideas to market faster and offer firms the critical support they need to advance projects. We are also an ideal test market, offering a good representation of customers from around the world. Malta has a large expat population, with around 20% of its residents born in a foreign country.

  • A Dynamic Industry

EU passporting rights and moderate operating costs add to our appeal as a centre for banking and financial institutions. Our banks continue to be profitable and well capitalised. All regulatory capital ratios are above the minimum levels required. As an EU member state, banking legislation is founded on EU legislation and is compliant with the Basel Core Principles. The supervision of the island’s three largest banks falls under the remit of the Single Supervisory Mechanism, while the Malta Financial Services Authority is directly in charge of the supervision of all other institutions. Malta’s banks are increasingly embedding ESG (environmental, social and governance) factors into their strategies and started to offer sustainable finance products. FinTech firms with expertise in blockchain, cryptocurrency, PayTech and asset management are equally considering Malta a dynamic operational hub that continues to evolve in line with global market trends and consumer demands.

Credit & Financial Institutions
Publication / Finance Malta
June 18, 2024

The Future of Banking in Malta

Credit & Financial Institutions
Publication / Finance Malta
April 18, 2023

Why Malta for Credit and Financial Institutions Guide | 2023 Edition

Credit & Financial Institutions
Publication / Finance Malta
January 14, 2022

Why Malta for Credit and Financial Institutions Guide | 2021-2022 Edition