29th April 2021
Stay informed about key developments in Malta’s International Finance Centre. Find out what happened in the first few months of 2021 and what will be on the agenda going forward. Our snippets in April cover new rules for company services providers, the Green Market of the Malta Stock Exchange, and more.
Changing Times for Company Services Providers
Malta has brought in a new regime for Company Services Providers (CSPs) that requires all CSPs to apply for authorisation with the Malta Financial Services Authority (MFSA). Previous exemptions for warranted professionals have been removed and instead three different classes of CSPs have been introduced. The change means that warranted lawyers and accountants now also require a MFSA licence if they are acting as a CSP.
The new CSP Rulebook requires authorised entities to comply with a number of obligations, covering areas such as risk management, compliance monitoring, record-keeping and money laundering reporting. CSPs have until May 16 to register with the MFSA for authorisation. CSPs already registered with the MFSA under the previous rules are considered to be authorised under amended rules but need to comply with the new regime.
Sustainable Finance: Malta Enters the Green Bond Market
ESG (Environmental, Social, Governance) investing is gaining momentum in Malta’s financial services sector. The launch of the Malta Stock Exchange’s Green Market in February 2021 is a signal that sustainable finance is on its way of moving from niche into mainstream. The Green Market allows for the listing of Green Bonds, and issuers must meet the exchange’s Green List criteria, which are based on the International Capital Markets Association’s Green Bonds Principles. Issuers must invest in projects which contribute towards one of six environmental objectives that include Climate Change Mitigation, Climate Change Adaptation, Pollution Prevention, Sustainable Use of Water and Marine Resources amongst .
Leading Malta Lawyers Ranked in Legal 500
Several Maltese law firms that are members of FinanceMalta have been recognised in the Legal 500 EMEA edition, which was published in April. The 2021 ranking of legal practitioners in Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA) named Fenech & Fenech Advocates, Ganado Advocates, Camilleri Preziosi and Mamo TCV Advocates as the “key names” in the legal market. All four firms ranked in the first tier in the category commercial, corporate and M&A. In the field of fintech, Ganado Advocates and GTG Advocates ranked in the top tier of practitioners, while Camilleri Preziosi ranked in the second tier and GVZH Advocates and Mamo TCV Advocates in the third. Legal 500 is one of the most highly regarded international directories for the legal industry and grades law firms following a thorough and independent research process. The EMEA guide covers over 80 countries and ranks more than 2,700 law firms. Congratulations to these members!
Crowdfunding: Cross-Border Opportunities Ahead
New EU-wide crowdfunding rules could provide a boost to Malta’s alternative finance sector. While globally crowdfunding is revolutionising the way companies are being funded, especially providing start-ups and early stage ventures with finance, Malta’s crowdfunding sector has yet to reach its full potential. However, from October 2021, European crowdfunding service providers can apply for an EU passport based on a single set of rules, which makes it easier for them to offer their services across the EU with a single authorisation. The Malta Financial Services Authority is currently working on implementing the regulation into Malta’s legislative framework. The new framework is expected to widen the pool of investors and the number of projects they can invest in. It could also attract additional crowdfunding platforms to establish themselves in Malta.