Malta’s financial services are regulated by a strong but flexible single regulatory body, the Malta Financial Services Authority (MFSA). The MFSA is responsible for all financial services licensing. The structure of the MFSA is based on international best practices with the aim of providing a regulatory framework of the highest level.
The MFSA also consistently works to operate a positive legislative framework that balances strict compliance (particularly in view of money laundering and the funding of terrorism) with a non-standardised approach to dealing with financial services operators.
Malta is also actively engaged in international developments of regulatory policy with engagements at OECD, EU and Commonwealth levels. The World Economic Forum’s Competitiveness Index 2008-2009 has ranked Malta 34th from 134 countries for financial market sophistication, with a banking system that is the 10th soundest in the world, while the Global Financial Services Index, published by the City of London in March 2008 ranks Malta 4th place as the centre most likely to increase importance in the next few years, and in the 5th place as the centre where most organizations where most likely to begin new operations in the next two to three years.
Malta also benefits from a tax efficient environment with a full imputation system, double taxation treaties with over 50 countries and refundable tax credit schemes on revenues as dividends to shareholders, resident and non-resident.
Over the years, Malta has established itself as a globally recognised highly developed financial services centre. Financial services and financial intermediation and related sectors currently account for 12% of the country’s GPD. The aim is to increase the value added further in the coming years. Malta has attracted numerous financial services operators due to a combination of low cost financing of investment transactions as well as international business connections. Financial services operators are additionally advantaged through the efficient and reliable handling of both domestic and foreign transactions performed by Maltese and foreign banks using the latest technology.