It might be the smallest member of the EU state, with both a small population and land area but Malta is truly a world leader when it comes to financial services. Indeed, financial services in Malta are world-recognised and highly competitive when it comes to delivering international financial services. Successive governments on the island have worked hand in hand with industry to position financial services in Malta as a leading centre for sophisticated financial business. Incentivizing business, educating the local population and creating a sound regulatory infrastructure has really paid off for Malta allowing them to play host to a variety of financial businesses. From Investment Advisors to Insurance Managers and even Commodity, Equity and Forex traders, Malta is home to many different financial businesses, the financial sector is thriving. EU membership and their attitude towards regulation of financial services have really helped financial services in Malta to emerge as world leaders.
Malta: A Gateway to Europe for Financial Services
It could be argued that Malta's success in the financial sector is down to its membership of the European Union primarily because this gives free access to the European market. The EU has many directives that allow businesses in Malta to access markets throughout Europe. For example, an investment advisor based in Malta can use Maltese business authorisation to deliver services throughout Europe, even down to being permitted to set up branches in other EU countries. Access to the EU market can help Malta's financial sector to grow thanks to an increased customer base, and the benefit of utilising financial and procedural incentives from other countries.
How the MFSA Promotes Business and Safeguards Investors
The MFSA is another key factor in the growth of financial services in Malta. They have worked hard to create a solid regulatory infrastructure, and have a reputation for being firm but flexible. Their flexibility does not compromise the strength of their regulation, however, with their regulatory bodies reflecting the highest EU standards and delivery of directives such as MiFID and the Prospective Directive. The financial sector can take advantage of this flexibility, however, as regulators are often happy to discuss proposals, even if they are innovative and nature and they are flexible with rules. The MFSA do not stick to the letter of the law just for the sake of it, they are often keen to enforce rules in a reasonable manner. It is also easy to arrange meetings with representatives from the MFSA and they do not refuse ideas without first giving them a fair hearing.
A Leading European Domicile
Financial services in Malta also offer their local businesses a number of advantages. These advantages include a population that speaks English as a first language, quick turn-around times on regulatory matters, easy set-up of companies thanks to simple procedures, low costs, low tax rates and that gorgeous Mediterranean climate. Financial services in Malta really make the island the ideal location for setting up a new business.