Parliamentary Secretary for Financial Services and Digital Economy Clayton Bartolo launched the MFSA FinTech Regulatory Sandbox, a mechanism whereby operators can apply to test their innovations within this sandbox for a specified period of time and under certain prescribed conditions. The regulatory environment being created will further position the MFSA as a forward-looking authority by providing legal certainty to industry players, whilst ensuring effective investor protection, market integrity and financial soundness in the FinTech environment.

During this launch, Chief Officer for Strategy, Policy and Innovation within the MFSA Michael Xuereb welcomed the launch of the sandbox and noted that financial services start-ups and incumbents view the sandbox as a much needed tool to help in the adoption of innovative solutions within their entities in an orderly manner, whilst enabling them to offer value-added products and services to their customers. Furthermore, it will enable the MFSA to enhance its understanding of ever-changing technological innovation and increase its technical know-how in order to enable the necessary policy-making towards further growth of the financial services industry in a sustainable manner.

MFSA CEO Joseph Cuschieri highlighted that this marks the achievement of one of the Authority’s main strategic objectives under its FinTech Strategy. It is a milestone towards creating a holistic long-term approach to catalyse innovation, growth and competition in the financial services market, complementing the Virtual Financial Assets Act, and further positioning Malta as an international FinTech Hub and a global thought leader. Mr Cuschieri encouraged further collaboration with all stakeholders within the industry to reach new heights and conveyed appreciation towards everyone’s contribution towards this project, as well as the industry players who provided their insightful feedback. He reiterated his commitment towards the MFSA’s FinTech Strategy and, in this respect, set the direction for the next milestone being the establishment of the FinTech Innovation Hub, which is a strategic objective for the ecosystem of the FinTech Strategy.

In his closing address, Parliamentary Secretary for Financial Services and Digital Economy Clayton Bartolo stated that the MFSA sandbox initiative will continue to contribute intrinsically towards competitiveness and economic activity. By collaborating with participants, the Authority will have the opportunity to enhance its capacity in assessing the regulatory implications and gaps of such innovative solutions, and identify the appropriate response as necessary. This will hence reaffirm Malta’s reputation as a forward-looking jurisdiction that is open to innovation.

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