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Malta Reveals Steady Increase in Licensed Entities

MFSA Reveals Steady Increase in Licensed Entities During 2014

The Malta Financial Services Authority (MFSA) has issued statistics for the year 2014 which underline steady and organic growth.  Notwithstanding the difficult economic environment, stricter regulation and higher licensing requirements, the number of financial services licenses as of end 2014 is in excess of 800.  Seventeen (17) new Category 2 licences (asset managers and white label FX companies) were issued during 2014, whilst a total of 22 managers were issued with new or revised licences to operate in full compliance of the Alternative Invesmtment Fund Managers Directive (AIFMD).  Six new licences were issued in other categories, including the recently enacted Category 4b depositary, as prescribed under the new Investment Services Rules.  A contrario senso, and evidence of a stricter and tighter regulation, nine licences were surrendered or withdrawn.

Notwithstanding the radical changes brought over by the aforesaid AIFMD, a total of 39 collective investment schemes (CISs) were licensed, bringing the tola number of new sub-funds up to 118, with funds approved as Professional Investor Funds (PIFs) taking the lion’s share with 106 of the aforesaid 118.

In the banking sector, three (3) new credit institutions were licensed, whereby two others had their licences extended to widen their activities within their already acquired banking icence.  A significant growth area, was also seen in the electronic money institutions, which albeit of relatively recent enactment, has already proven to be a success story.

In the insurance sector. 2014 saw the licensing f three new insurance undertakings, including one Protected Cell Company, bring the total number of cells within PCCs to 27.

Retirement schemes also rose to 35 with two new retirement scheme administrators and five new asset managers.  The number of new companies is in line with the past three years, with over 5000 companies registered in 2014 alone.

The aforesaid statistics have further cemented Malta’s reputation as a proven domicile for financial services and a mature corporate registrar.  A plethora of new legislation is expected to be enacted in 2015 allowing investors full access to an ever more sophisticated legislative base, through which to channel their investment.

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