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Business Culture

Malta is home to a diverse mix of financial services companies and offers a diverse Business Culture. While multinationals, global institutions, and some of the world’s top-rated financial firms have located important functions on the island, start-ups and mid-tier financial services companies find Malta a particularly attractive place to grow and scale their products and services.

Malta’s lower cost base, when compared with its European competitors London, Dublin, and Luxembourg, mean a company’s seed capital can last longer than in the bigger and more expensive start-up hubs.

As the global finance sector is gearing up for a tech transformation, Malta, with its positive view of and support for emerging digital technologies, such as Artificial Intelligence (AI), Robotics, Big Data, Distributed Ledger Technologies, Cybersecurity, and Internet of Things (IoT), is also gaining the attention of a whole new generation of FinTech entrepreneurs and global innovators.

The next big thing

As all FinTech sectors remain hot areas of investment, Malta sees very clearly the advantages it could gain by exploring AI technologies as a new economic niche in its business culture. The islands envision the roll-out of a series of measures for both AI start-ups as well as global tech leaders to make AI-related investments into Malta. There are plans to develop a cutting-edge Research and Innovation Centre of Excellence for AI, Big Data, and Robotics in Malta to enhance the innovation agenda. The island’s small size makes it the ideal test environment for AI companies to future-proof their products in a real-life scenario. Companies can develop and test new products and services on the diverse, yet concentrated, local market before exporting their services and solutions to Europe and further afield. Companies are also using Malta as a springboard to nearby markets, in particular those of Africa, which is increasingly becoming a testing ground for new financial technologies.

For more information on the FinTech sector visit: https://financemalta.org/finance-sectors/fintech/

Finance Foundations

Malta’s international finance sector is a relatively young one, and compared to many other countries, Malta has been a rather late entrant to the financial sector. The seed of Malta’s modern-day finance centre were sown in 2004 when the island was seeking membership of the EU and began to harmonise its legislation, incorporating best practices from the world’s most respected international business centres.

By incorporating a strong supervisory framework as well as a competitive, transparent regulatory and tax regime approved by both the EU and the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), Malta has sought to distance itself from secrecy jurisdictions, tax havens and shell company structures. Throughout the years, the island has continuously ensured that its laws, including anti-money laundering (AML) rules, are fully aligned with European and global standards, and the island continues working hand in hand with all stakeholders to ensure the integrity of the financial marketplace.

While Malta would certainly like to grow and nurture the next unicorn, thus far global companies remain the bedrock of its International Finance Centre. The island has attracted international credit institutions such as HSBC, BNF Bank, Sparkasse Bank, and trade finance specialist FIMBank and today hosts more than 20 fund administrators and almost 70 insurance companies.

Fund administrators such as Apex and Citco have a presence in Malta, along with insurance specialists Munich Re, Aon, and Marsh. In addition, multinationals such as BMW, Peugeot, Citroën, and Vodafone have set up captive insurance companies on the island.