PKF Malta launches new website

PKF Malta has launched its newly redesigned website featuring all the latest information and updates on the company, in a user-friendly and visually-compelling style which is in line with PKF International’s global branding framework.

The website – – is very easy to navigate and adaptable when viewing it using a laptop, tablet or smartphone.
PKF Malta’s new website was developed using a high quality and efficient platform backend which supports the brand and is search engine optimized. It features added security in order to sustain the firm’s business in its current and future needs.

In addition, the new website includes also live chat functionality and allows its users to sign up to PKF Malta’s newsletter. With mega-navigation, full mobile responsiveness, links to PKF Malta’s social media accounts, multi-lingual functionality and content areas that work with Bootstrap CSS – which offers much more flexibility – the new website is truly a major step forward.

“Investing in a new, professional website and making sure its content is updated on a regular basis is key to any business. We believe that revamping our website both from a technical and visual perspective will help PKF Malta better communicate who we are, what we offer, as well as the events and initiatives that we organize or partake in. We are proud to state that our new website is supported by PKF’s International team,” said George Mangion, Senior Partner of PKF Malta.

The website features all the information relating to the services offered by PKF Malta – from accounting, auditing, back office operations to captive insurance, consultancy and corporation and tax advice. It provides information on both the Malta-based firm as well as PKF International and features a dedicated news section, as well as the facility to view online publications and brochures produced by PKF and which can be downloaded free of charge.

PKF Malta is a fast-growing, progressive firm specialising in audit & assurance, tax, advisory services, and internal audit insurance. PKF Malta is a member of PKF International, a network of independent firms of accountants and business advisors operating in 150 countries across five regions. In 2019, PKF International celebrated its 50th Anniversary and PKF Malta has been operating in Malta for more than 27 years.

BNF Bank goes green for a healthier Europe

BNF Bank employees ditched their cars and opted for other means of transport for their commute to work, as part of this years’ European Mobility Week. Staff from branches and head office, opted for alternative and greener modes of transport contributing in part to less polluted and congested roads.

The EU Mobility Week is an initiative aimed at promoting sustainable transportation with the use of low-or zero-emission mobility, enhancing people’s well-being and contributing to the fight against climate change.

BNF Bank supported the European Mobility Week initiative by raising internal awareness amongst its staff members and the day was topped-up with a refreshing smoothie served in a reusable cup, in collaboration with Dr Juice.

George Debono, Chief Commercial Officer said that “It is through such initiatives that organisations and corporate companies can make a difference in the community in which they operate. At BNF Bank we aim to engage employees in our Corporate Social Responsibility programmes and strongly value their commitment to different causes.”

European capital markets issuers and investors world-leading in their zero-carbon commitments

In the global drive towards carbon neutrality, European companies that raise finance in the global capital markets are leading their peers – 24% of issuers (16% globally) have already made a net zero commitment, according to HSBC’s Sustainable Financing and Investing Survey 2021.

The vast majority of issuers in Europe (97%) and across the world (94%) are planning to start transitioning away from environmentally and socially-challenged business models within the next five years, the survey shows.

European investors are demanding that companies make these changes, with almost all of them (99.6%) saying it’s either “important” or “vitally important” for entities they invest in to be preparing for the effects of climate change. Almost 11% (23% globally) of those who deem it vital say they will divest themselves of companies that don’t have credible transition plans.

In their commitment to carbon neutrality, European investors are world leading themselves – 38% have already made a net zero pledge, compared with 17% of investors globally. 91% of European investors (43% last year) say they have a firm-wide policy on responsible investing or ESG issues, marking the highest percentage of any region.

27% of issuing companies in Europe say their businesses are already being impacted by climate change, compared with 50% globally. 72% of European issuers state they are considering reducing or exiting some business activities which could be vulnerable to climate change, the highest percentage of any region globally.

At the same time, 68% of all surveyed companies in the region are considering starting or ramping up businesses that will benefit from climate change.

Colin Bell, CEO of HSBC Bank plc and HSBC Europe, said: “While the drive towards greater sustainability is a global movement, European investors and issuers are at the forefront of it, demonstrating across many areas what change can look like. The transition to a net-zero global economy will require collaborative and consistent efforts across our economies and societies, with sustainable finance playing a key role. We will continue to support our customers in achieving their growth and sustainability goals.”

Simon Vaughan Johnson, HSBC Malta CEO, said: “Sustainability is a key element of our safe growth strategy and we are committed to providing our customers in Malta with sustainable investment choices. With a full range of Euro denominated Responsible Investment Funds, which offer investment opportunities to develop a functioning carbon-offset market, we aim to help build a thriving and resilient future for investors and the wider community in Malta.”

An increasing number of European investors say there is now nothing holding them back from pursuing Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG)-based investing –
(88% compared to 54% last year). With the global average at 64%, this marks the highest percentage of any region. Of the 12% who see themselves being held back, 43% say that is down to a shortage of expertise or qualified staff.

European investors still think issuers need to improve their environmental disclosures with 38% branding them “inadequate”. They are also concerned about greenwashing, or false claims of environmental benefits, with 66% saying it is a concern.

There are initiatives to create labelling systems to show that certain issues are independently verified as sustainable, for example in sustainable infrastructure. 64% of European investors said they would be much more confident about investing in sustainable infrastructure if such labelling system was implemented, the survey shows.

Download full report here

The Malta Chamber condemns shocking and inhumane act

The Chamber condemns the vile lack of humanity shown earlier today towards the foreign worker who was left on the side of the road following a construction accident.

The Malta Chamber has always advocated fair and equal treatment of all workers regardless of nationality across all sectors of the economy.

The Malta Chamber calls on all relevant stakeholders and authorities to immediately carve out a strategy to tackle this issue in a holistic manner.

Holistic Planning with a Clear Vision creates Jobs and improves Quality of Life

The Maltese economy is highly diversified with many industries contributing positively and having sustainable growth potential, including construction if we focus on quality. The Malta Chamber re-iterates its stand that development and the construction industry must improve and evolve with full respect to Malta and Gozo’s heritage, history, culture, natural environment and well-being.

The country urgently needs a holistic Master Plan and revised local plans supported with clear policies which do not leave room for abusive exploitation in their interpretation and application. The ad hoc planning approach adopted over the years has uglified Malta, created uncertainty, excessive speculation and a non-level playing field between industry players as well as the general public.

A piecemeal approach to planning goes against the very spirit of planning itself. Development Brief changes, Partial Reviews and incongruent policy interpretation and application must stop. Instead effort must by placed on developing the must needed holistic Master Plan based on a well-studied carrying capacity exercise.

Our country’s success requires development to become sustainable, greener, cleaner and pleasant on the eye with full respect to saving our identity and to well-being. We need to move towards more regeneration, more restoration, applying different work methods, using new products and upskilling. This new way of doing development and construction will not only safeguard the employment and jobs of the current workforce but will also create endless new job opportunities.

The vital role of sustainable, sufficient and adequate pensions

“The Malta Chamber is a firm believer in the positive impact that sustainable and adequate pensions can have in addressing the issues related to enhancing sound and proper governance protocols for both a short term and a long term recovery,” said Dr Marthese Portelli, The Malta Chamber CEO, during a luncheon organised by STM Malta.

The event aimed at providing:
• a holistic overview of the pension system
• the importance of providing for a pension
• the key differences between a state and a private pension
• the benefits of employers offering an occupational pension scheme to its employees, and
• how one can better manage investment risk.

Addressing attendees, the Malta Chamber CEO noted the proactive efforts The Chamber is taking in championing sustainability with regards to pensions. Several recommendations were outlined which featured in the recently published pre-budget recommendations. These included allowing older employees entitled for a full pension at 61, to return to, or stay within employment, whilst also receiving a full pension and emphasising on the important role that supplementary pensions play in maintaining the future adequacy of pensions.

“Earlier this month we signed a Strategic Alliance Collaboration with STM Malta with the aim of raising awareness and tackling the issues related to the sustainability of the state pension while promoting Malta beyond our borders as a leading base for international cross-border pension provision,” explained Dr Portelli.

Deborah Schembri Managing Director & CEO of STM Malta Pension Services Limited stated that the key purpose of pension systems is to protect older people from poverty and to allow them to enjoy decent living standards and economic independence when ageing. Financial sustainability of pension schemes is the indispensable means to this end. She explained how “Supplementary pensions (other than state pensions) will need to play an ever greater role in maintaining the future adequacy of pensions, in particular where the adequacy of public pensions is expected to deteriorate. Education, tax and other financial incentives are an important part of the policy mix to develop occupational pensions.”

The event was attended by Minister Clyde Caruana, Minister Michael Farrugia and Hon David Agius.


The Malta Chamber and Seed sign Bronze Partnership Agreement

The Malta Chamber of Commerce, Enterprise and Industry signed a Bronze Partnership agreement with Seed, aimed to enhance The Chamber’s policy influence with regards to sustainable tourism. To this end, Seed will be paired with the ‘Tourism Operators Business Section’ within The Malta Chamber’s Policy framework.

“As sustainability is one of the four main pillars of The Malta Chamber’s Economic Vision, The Malta Chamber is partnering with business champions that share the same values. Through this collaboration, The Malta Chamber will be better equipped to raise awareness and develop a high-level implementation plan by focusing on sustainable tourism practices with the aim of offering a quality experience to tourists visiting our islands,” said Ms Marisa Xuereb, President of The Malta Chamber.

Through this agreement, Seed will be supporting the ‘Tourism Operators Business Committee’ in the drawing up of a:
• Tourism Transformation Map to better understand the challenges and opportunities of the tourism sector by analysing both the local and international market;
• Transformation Index with the aim of compiling an annual index which can not only measure sectorial readiness, but also serve as a benchmark tool, together with an annual report to analyse this index in more detail.

“It is a great privilege for Seed to be associated with and sponsor The Malta Chamber. As a research-driven international advisory firm, Seed is very aligned to The Chamber’s mission, values and drive to be a transforming force. To this end, we will be supporting the Tourism Business Sub-Committee in its efforts to transform such an important pillar to Malta’s economy, and which suffered the brunt of the global pandemic. With the recovery in sight, together with The Chamber, Seed will be actively supporting the development of a vision for a revitalized and sustainable tourism sector,” said Mr JP Fabri, Director at Seed Business Advisory Ltd.

The agreement was signed by President Ms Marisa Xuereb and Deputy President, Mr Chris Vassallo Cesareo on behalf of the Malta Chamber and Mr JP Fabri for Seed. Mr Alan Arrigo, The Tourism Operators Business Section Chair, was also present during the signing.

Consultation on Pharmacy Opening Hours is Lacking

Following reports in the press that health authorities are in advanced discussions with stakeholders for pharmacies to introduce a roster system to also start opening on Sunday afternoons, the Malta Chamber of Commerce, Enterprise and Industry wishes to clarify that it has not been approached on the matter in recent months.

The last correspondence that the Chamber has had on the matter dates back to February 2020 and consists of a proposal made jointly with other stakeholders that provides for the enforcement of a roster for pharmacies to open on Sundays and Public Holidays, and for the service to be extended to a full day. No further communication on this proposal has been received since.

The Chamber, on behalf of its Lead Professional Pharmacists Business Section, urges the relevant authorities to consult with the relevant stakeholders before proceeding with implementation to ensure that the public is better served and that there is a level playing field between all pharmacies.

Private Sector experiencing Drastic Employee drain to Public Sector Employment

During a meeting between the Malta Chamber of Commerce, Enterprise and Industry and the Gozo Business Chamber both organisations noted that several of their members keep reporting that they are losing their employees to public sector jobs, even when the latter often carry less pay.

Both Chambers believe that whilst it is understandable that the public sector needs staffing at certain levels, it is also evident that there is overstaffing across various strata and in various Government departments and entities. It runs contrary to business competitiveness to have a situation where Government is indirectly soliciting human capital from the private sector.

Both organisations appeal to Government to curtail this practice as it will have long-term repercussions not only on the public sector wage bill, but also on the ability of the private sector to operate due to lack of human resources. This situation is already being experienced in many sectors.

The current economic circumstances warrant an independent review of public sector employment and resourcing to build a leaner but more efficient public administration, which only enhances those sectors which require resourcing.
The Malta Chamber and the Gozo Business Chamber propose that Government should look into the possibility of secondment of underemployed resources to the private sector.

They also insist that public sector recruitment of persons who are in full-time adequately paid employment with the private sector should, to the extent possible be avoided. Given the present circumstances this should be in the interest of economic recovery and the long-term sustainability of public finances.