Malta is an established and renowned financial center due to its extensive network of double taxation agreements and because it adopted all EU financial services regulations when it became a member state of the European Union. The Malta Financial Services Authority (MFSA) was established in 2002 and it is the single regulatory body for financial services in the country. The MFSA has the responsibilities of regulating, monitoring and supervising financial activities carried out by Maltese banks, investment companies, insurance companies and pension funds. The MFSA is also the authority where companies operating in the financial services field must apply for a financial service license. The MFSA also maintains the Maltese Trade Register.
The MFSA issued the following types of Maltese financial service licenses:
Investment licenses fall under the regulations of the Investment Services Act of 1994 that regulates the licensing of Maltese investment services companies and collective investment schemes. There are three types of collective investment schemes in Malta:
- retail schemes,
- private collective investment schemes,
- professional investor funds (PIFs).
The Banking Act regulates the establishment of credit and e-money institutions in Malta. The Maltese Banking Act also establishes the requirements for setting up credit institutions and other financial institutions.
Insurance companies fall under the Insurance Business Act in Malta. The Insurance Intermediaries Act regulates the licensing of insurance brokers, agents and managers.
In order to obtain a financial service license, Maltese companies must satisfy the MFSA’s requirements. The stages to obtain a Maltese financial service license are:
- the preparatory stage,
- the pre-licensing stage,
- the post-licensing stage.
The preparatory stage refers to a meeting at MFSA, where the company and the MFSA representatives discuss the application procedure and the documents to be submitted for licensing. In the pre-licensing stage, the MFSA will approve the issuance of the financial service license, based on which the investor may register the company with the Trade Register in Malta. The post-licensing stage refers to other requirements that may appear.
For complete information about the documents required to apply for financial service license, please contact our law firm in Malta.
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