BOV Asset Management Seminar Discusses Best Practices in Investments

A group of front-line staff, including universal bankers and financial advisors from across Bank of Valletta’s branch network, investment centres, and private banking, attended a full-day seminar organised by BOV Asset Management (BOVAM) earlier this month.

As explained by Simon Azzopardi, Chief Personal and Wealth Officer at Bank of Valletta, “The event provided a unique opportunity for our people to meet up with portfolio managers at BOV Asset Management and share best practices in the field of investments.”

Corroborating Mr Azzopardi’s comments, Mark Agius, who heads BOV Asset Management, said that in the area of investments, satisfied customers and success stories depend heavily on the personal service offered by financial advisors and universal bankers, as well as a deep understanding of customer needs. The presence of supporting experts ensures that clients from all walks of life receive the appropriate level of guidance throughout their lifecycle. “This is why BOV Asset Management invests heavily in its portfolio managers and takes every opportunity to maintain a healthy and honest dialogue going across the organisation, always with the customer at the forefront of everything we do.”

The seminar kicked off with an overview of the numerous initiatives being undertaken by the Bank to foster improved customer knowledge. “During the past months, we held a series of talks about basic investment knowledge. The response from the public was very encouraging, so much so that we shall soon be launching a new set of sessions at different branches across the Bank’s retail network”, explained Mr Agius.

The seminar included interventions by the Portfolio Managers from BOVAM, who provided an overview of local and foreign market trends. They referred to the Borrowers Confidence Index (BCI) which corroborates the suite of economic forecasts indicating that Malta’s economic growth in 2023 is likely to be less than in 2021 and 2022, but possibly higher than the long-term average. Reference was also made to the key drivers in foreign markets, including the actions being taken by central banks and the performance of markets such as China, whose recovery post-pandemic continues to lag behind expectations.

Among the guest speakers was Tonia Parascandolo, who heads the Bank’s Bancassurance arm. She provided insights into the market’s perceptions and understanding of pensions, ranging from the traditional state pension to the selection of personal pension plans available under the third pillar.

Clint Azzopardi Flores who heads the Bank’s ESG drive, delivered a thought-provoking presentation on the historical context that led to the Climate Paris Agreement targets (2015) to combat climate change. He also described decarbonisation efforts of the EU continent, explaining the implications of transitioning to cleaner energy, even on financial institutions who are now obliged to ensure that their financing is in line with the EU’s climate objectives. Clint explained that the green transition will depend heavily on new and emerging geopolitical realities. This shifting scenario will impact investors and the criteria on the basis of which they will decide where to invest.

In his capacity as Chairman of the BOV Asset Management Committee, Mr Romeo Cutajar brought the seminar to a close. He explained how the Committee supports and oversees the work of Portfolio Managers, ensuring that good governance is retained throughout the process that customers go through when choosing the most appropriate investment paths.

Simon Azzopardi expressed his satisfaction with the level of mature discussion and active participation throughout the event. “Watching our people working so well together and supporting one another motivates us to work harder. Such experiences offer scope for greater sharing of ideas, which ultimately enable us to deliver a consistently better customer experience.”

BOV’s ATM Screen Upgrade Driven by Customer Feedback

Bank of Valletta has just upgraded the screens on its ATM fleet, displaying a new, updated, and easy-to-use interface. The upgrades were made with the aim of enhancing the usability of ATMs, increasing accessibility, and making it much easier to carry out the transactions that customers are so familiar with. Over 650 screens have now been upgraded, including all screens for foreign cards, credit cards as well as local cards, thereby ensuring that customer interactions continue to develop into a more modern and seamless experience. The Bank has retained the flow from one screen to the next intact, so that customers continue to use ATMs in the same way that they are accustomed to.

Customer service has always been a key ingredient in the provision of financial services. As banks continue to improve and upgrade their service channels, particularly through the introduction of self-service and digital solutions, maintaining the right balance between digital and physical channels continues to play an important role.

Over the past months Bank of Valletta has been investing time and energy in improving its service offering across its channels. The Bank’s Voice of the Customer programme provides crucial feedback on the service offered by the Bank. By listening to customers, the Bank obtains regular updated pulse readings of customer satisfaction and obtains crucial feedback on areas for improvement.

The latest feedback obtained on the Bank’s ATM fleet has already resulted in a number of improvements. The Bank has already changed the servicing time of its ATM network, introduced the recycling of deposits for improved cash withdrawals and has also been sending SMSs to users alerting them when an ATM they frequently use is out of service.

Speaking about this enhancement Theodoros Papadopoulos, Chief Digital Officer at Bank of Valletta said that “Customer experience is key for the Bank. We continually strive to improve our channels, and we continue to invest in making the customer experience a memorable one. Listening to customers on a daily basis helps us in carrying out such enhancements. We recognise that there are no instant solutions. It is a continuous journey that we have embarked upon, one step at a time, small changes that together can result in a markedly improved experience. We are confident that this latest enhancement will continue in our efforts to position Bank of Valletta as the bank of choice for all our clients.”

Bank of Valletta acquires new funding to relaunch the BOV SME invest package

Bank of Valletta announced the re-launch of the BOV SME Invest Package after securing new funding through the Malta Development Bank’s SME Guarantee Scheme.

The Package aims to facilitate access to finance for local SMEs and is designed to help businesses invest and expand their operations by granting capital and investment-related working capital at a reduced level of collateral and at an advantageous interest rate. This is mainly possible thanks to the risk-sharing mechanism jointly undertaken by BOV and MDB.

The BOV SME Invest is now offered at an attractive 3% interest rate, with a maximum lending amount of €750,000 payable over a period of 10 years. Businesses are only required to pay a 10% upfront contribution.

Speaking about the new BOV SME Invest, Mr Simon Grech who is responsible for the Bank’s Commercial arm, highlighted BOV’s commitment to offer key support to the local business community, with several beneficial financing options offered to sole traders, microbusinesses, and corporates. “The BOV SME Invest is offered with an 80% Guarantee through the Malta Development Bank, which in turn enables us to request fewer collateral requirements from our customers. It is also worth noting that we evaluate our product offering on a regular basis, to keep abreast of market trends whilst trying to offer better pricing options on our business financing solutions.” The BOV SME Invest Package is available until December 2024. Further information related to the Package including its terms and conditions, is available at this link.

All loans are subject to normal bank lending criteria. Interested businesses willing to benefit from the BOV SME Invest or any other Business Financing Product are invited to get in touch with BOV Business Development Unit on 2275 1122 or send an email to

Tourism – It is time to fix Malta’s Image

Rediscover Malta’s Uniqueness

The Malta Chamber of Commerce, Enterprise and Industry is highly concerned about the fact that international news is describing Malta as a destination for tourists seeking inexpensive alcohol, legal drug consumption and uninhibited revelry. This undermines more desirable avenues of tourism and is diametrically opposite to government’s repeated pledge to promote the Maltese Islands as a hub for quality tourism experiences.

Tourism plays a vital role when it comes to Malta’s identity. Though the number of tourists visiting our islands may have increased, in real terms their spending power has decreased. This is why The Malta Chamber has consistently urged authorities to prioritise quality over numerical influx and to promote Malta’s uniqueness in terms of culture, heritage and history. This requires efforts which go beyond marketing and PR strategies. Waste collection, cleanliness, order, enforcement, clean seas and beaches, upkeep of public areas, a stable energy supply and traffic are just some of the areas that need to be significantly invested in to attract tourists who look for quality experiences. Over-construction needs to be addressed too. This becomes even more relevant when one notes that Mediterranean countries that Malta competes with have registered percentage increases in bed nights which are much greater than Malta’s.

Malta’s image needs to be fixed and rebuilt. Unless we immediately stem the tide, repositioning Malta as a destination of substance will not be possible. Visions, strategies and reforms which remain on paper are pointless. Immediate action from the authorities is required to revive Malta as a destination of choice by tourists looking for quality experiences. The preservation of our country’s appeal must supersede any transient allure of becoming a mere party hotspot.

Step up and act now.

Quarterly Review of Business & Consumer Surveys – August 2023

BOV Introduces New Digital Portal to Update Customer Records – MyProfile@BOV Goes Live

Bank of Valletta announced that it has launched an online portal for the updating of personal customers records, enabling customers to update their profiles at their convenience, without personally going to a BOV Branch.

Over recent months, the Bank has embarked on an extensive project to update customer records. “It is very important for us to know our customers better. This makes this exercise a necessary and essential one,” explained Simon Azzopardi, Chief Personal and Wealth Officer at Bank of Valletta. “The Bank needs to have updated customer records that correctly reflect the customer’s current profile to ensure that it meets its regulatory obligations and is in the best position to deliver the best customer experience at every touch point. This also enables us to protect customers from fraud and financial crime, whilst facilitating future interactions, making them more efficient and seamless.”

MyProfile@BOV will complement other methods currently being adopted by the Bank to update customer records. This will be particularly beneficial for individuals who value time efficiency and cannot visit a branch, waiting for in-person assistance. Upon logging into the portal, customers can conveniently review their personal information in sections and complete or update any missing details. Additionally, a user-friendly How-To Information Guide, along with a comprehensive list of frequently asked questions, will be accessible to customers. The Bank’s website also features a dedicated page that provides essential information pertaining to this service.

“The Bank’s newly introduced digital portal provides an intuitive user experience. It adeptly guides customers in identifying missing or incorrect information and provides clear instructions on the necessary documents for upload.  Another important aspect of this exercise is security. Customers are provided with secure access to a legitimate BOV portal providing peace of mind and effectively thwarting potential scams,” explained Mr Azzopardi. “To this end, we are adopting a personalised approach, contacting customers individually by letter and asking them to use their BOV Internet Banking or Mobile Banking credentials to access the digital portal,” he elaborated. 

“We take pride in offering customers an additional channel for interaction, in alignment with our commitment to place customers at the heart of our operations. Through this novel digital portal, we are offering a technological solution that not only heightens efficiency but also upholds robust security standards, thereby enriching our customers’ overall experience,” concluded Mr Azzopardi.

Any queries regarding MyProfile@BOV or the updating of records can be addressed to the Bank by contacting its Customer Service Centre on 2131 2020.

HSBC is committed to the transition to net zero

HSBC is focused on helping to deliver a net zero global economy. We aim to achieve net zero in our operations and supply chain by 2030 and in our financing portfolio by 2050.

Between now and then, we are working with our clients to help them reduce their emissions and scale up low carbon solutions, as we work to reduce our own. This will be a change over time, as businesses and economies progressively move away from high-carbon activities.

We can have the biggest impact by supporting our customers on their transition to lower emissions. Since 2020, we have provided and facilitated $210.7bn of sustainable finance and investment towards our ambition of $750bn to $1tn by 2030.

HSBC website

We publish a wide range of information on our performance in relation to environmental, social and governance (ESG) issues. We provide access to our ESG reporting resources which showcase how we support our different stakeholder groups and do business in a responsible way.

We provide case studies on how we support clients on their sustainability ambitions – driving impact for their business, employees and communities. These are more than just customer experiences, from transforming water to energy to agriculture technology (AgTech), from electrifying transport to vertical farming.  

In the Transition Pathways series which are designated for carbon-intensive industries, provide insight, expertise and solutions to help guide hard-to-abate sectors towards net zero. Additionally, in the “Insights” section of the HSBC Malta website, we periodically share our success stories in helping our clients in ambitious and innovative projects that make a positive difference to the environment and their ability to maintain their businesses sustainable long term.  

Supporting our corporate clients in the green and sustainable space

HSBC Malta offers several products to support our corporate clients in achieving significant improvements in the green and sustainable space.

Additionally, HSBC in Malta has recently joined forces with the Malta Development Bank (MDB) on a number of products. In this respect, it is worth highlighting specifically the MDB Guarantee Facility for Loans to SMEs.  The MDB Guarantee Facility for Loans to SMEs facilitates lending to smaller businesses that are viable but unable to obtain the required amount of finance from their commercial bank due to insufficient or inadequate collateral to meet the bank’s normal security requirements and / or the novelty or nature of the business venture that may fall outside the risk appetite and tolerance of commercial banks.

The MDB Guarantee Facility for Loans to SMEs is not limited to green and sustainable loans but can be certainly used in connection with them and HSBC is fully committed to support innovative business initiatives that align with the Net Zero Transition.

Other HSBC initiatives in Malta

HSBC in Malta additionally supports a number of initiatives to directly positively impact on the local environment.

Among many others, the HSBC Malta Foundation is supporting a project entitled ‘Establishing a Framework for Net Zero Buildings in Malta’. The aim of this project is to guide Malta towards achieving its climate goals by tackling the building and construction sector, with particular focus on operational carbon, i.e. the emissions of carbon dioxide and other global warming gases during the in-use operation of a building. This project provides a framework for net zero office buildings in Malta based on HSBC’s flagship net zero building in Qormi. The HSBC head office has been selected to perform building energy modelling as a case study to retrofit offices to more efficient buildings.

HSBC internationally and locally is fully committed to the net zero transition and looks forward to supporting its customers in this process. HSBC customers in Malta can contact their Relationship Manager for more information. Businesses that are not yet HSBC customers in Malta can enquire through our website.

AWE 2023

The Malta Chamber is aiming to identify up to 50 prospective women entrepreneurs and early-stage business owners, 60% of which will aim to be business owners and 40% of which are non-business owners aspiring to become entrepreneurs, and they will receive the AWE 2023 training. This opportunity is available for members and non-members of The Malta Chamber.

Participants targeted will be women aged around 25 or over, having a post-secondary level of education and higher, aspiring to start a business or who have recently started a business who will be required to commit to the whole programme and have the opportunity to pitch at the end of the training with the possibility of winning seed money to fund their start-up or business opportunity.

Potential participants should REGISTER HERE by 24 September 2023.

Timeline of the Training Schedule – each session will be of 2 hours


  1. If you enrol you are committing to completing Dream Builder by the stipulated deadlines and you shall attend at least 80% of all Physical sessions.
  2. To be excused a letter is to be signed and sent to
  3. In case of sickness, a medical certificate is required.
  4. Deadlines are to be adhered to.

An evaluation process of those submitting an application will take place for the AWE 2023 cohort to be selected given the limitednumber of participants being selected.


Information Session10 October 2023 at 9:30amOnline
AWE 2023 Launch12 October 2023 at 10amThe Malta Chamber, Valletta
Dream Builder Course – (COMPULSORY)
Course 1: Starting Your Dream
Course 2: Exploring Your Dream
Must be completed by:
6 November 2023
Dream Builder Course – (COMPULSORY)
Course 3: Planning Your Dream
Course 4: Making Your Dream
20 November 2023Online
Dream Builder Course – (COMPULSORY)
Course 5: Marketing Your Dream
Course 6: Pricing Your Dream
Course 7: Selling Your Dream
4 December 2023Online
Dream Builder Course – (COMPULSORY)
Course 8: Managing Your Dream
Course 9: Profiting from Your Dream
Course 10: Keeping Track of Your Dream
Course 11: Funding Your Dream
15 January 2024Online
Dream Builder Course – (COMPULSORY)
Course 12: Formalizing Your Dream
Course 13: Turning Your Dream into Reality
29 January 2024Online
Training Session & Networking (COMPULSORY)
Malta’s Economic Context
Silvan Mifsud, Board Member, The Malta Chamber
19 October 2023 at 9:00 – 11:00amThe Malta Chamber, Valletta
Training Session & Networking (COMPULSORY)
Assistance available in Malta for Start-Ups & Female Entrepreneurs
Alison Mizzi, President, Malta Business Bureau
2 November 2023 at 9:00 – 11:00amThe Malta Chamber, Valletta
Training Session & Networking (COMPULSORY)
Intercultural Awareness & Leading a Business as a Woman
Valerie Cabay, Founder Connect Across Cultures
16 November 2023 at 9:00 – 11:00amThe Malta Chamber, Valletta
Training Session & Networking (COMPULSORY)
Exploring the International Market
Trade Malta.
30 November 2023 at 9:00 – 11:00amThe Malta Chamber, Valletta
Training Session & Networking (COMPULSORY)
Media, Communications & Marketing
Rachel Attard, Head of Media & Communication Strategy, The Malta Chamber
11 January 2024 at 9:00 – 11:00amThe Malta Chamber, Valletta
Training Session & Networking (COMPULSORY)
Aspects of Malta’s Commercial Law for Entrepreneurs
Dr Marthese Portelli, CEO, The Malta Chamber
25 January 2024 at 9:00 – 11:00amThe Malta Chamber, Valletta
Tutorials (OPTIONAL)
Participants will have the opportunity to attend the following tutorials.
Module 1: Business Concept
Module 2: Business Strategy
Module 3: Media, Communications & Marketing
Module 4: Managing & Funding your Dream
Module 5: Legal Aspects

Bonus Tutorials – Leading as a Woman Communication & Intercultural Awareness
Pitching Competition (OPTIONAL)
A pitching session will be held at the end of the course to those having completed Dream Builder in time and having attended at least 80% of the Training Sessions at The Malta Chamber.
Those pitching their business idea/product/service may win a start-up prize of:
$7,000 as a 1st Prize
$3,000 as a 2nd Prize
AWE 2023 GraduationTBDTBD

For more information kindly send an email to:

BNF Bank p.l.c. welcomes Glen Smith as its newly appointed Chief Risk Officer

BNF Bank p.l.c. has appointed Glen Smith as its Chief Risk Officer. Hailing from the UK, Mr Smith boasts over 30 years of experience in financial services and banking, specialising in risk and regulation, and occupying various senior management roles in both retail and corporate banking across various markets.

Prior to his appointment at BNF Bank, Mr Smith held the role of Senior Risk Manager with HSBC Continental Europe, based in the Paris Head Office. He was responsible for the management and oversight of wholesale credit risk activities, reporting, and regulatory and risk controls covering France, Germany and Malta, among other territories.

Chief Executive Officer Mr David Power welcomed Mr Smith to the Bank’s executive team, saying that this appointment will not only further strengthen the team, but also the Bank’s position in the market. The implementation of sound risk strategies aligns to the organisation’s over-arching agenda of being one of Malta’s strongest systemic financial institutions. “With seasoned leaders in place to scale and execute our plans, we can be confident in building on our customer-first strategy, offering a greater breadth of integrated solutions to support customer success.”

On his part, Mr Smith said he was looking forward to drawing from his experience and expertise to execute business models that advance the Bank’s profitability in a sustainable, cautious manner while contending with the staple changes in trends, markets and technologies. “I am eager to embrace the Bank’s vision and values, and to work closely with my colleagues to ultimately deliver the best products and services to the Bank’s loyal client base.”   

BNF Bank p.l.c. is a mainstay in Malta’s financial sector a key player in the community.  With a network of branches across Malta and Gozo, dedicated business centres and a trading room, the Bank offers financial products targeting individual and business needs, underpinned by personalised service excellence.