MFSA to invest €12m in technology development over next three years

Helena Grech - 6th September 2019 

The Authority has released a three-year strategic plan focusing on a number of priority areas such as combating financial crime and good governance.

As part of the Malta Financial Services Authority’s (MFSA) three-year strategic plan, it will be investing €12 million in technology development throughout this period.

On Friday morning, the MFSA released a its strategic plan for 2019-2021, outlining key priority areas. In a statement, it said that the plan was drawn up with local and international challenges in mind, while in keeping with certain requirements.

“Emphasising the importance for openness, transparency and accountability, the publication of this Strategic Plan follows a consultation process with licence holders in the form of a survey which was carried out in March 2019,” the MFSA said in a statement.

“Through this market survey, licence holders were given the opportunity to rate the performance of the Authority and provide feedback on challenges and strategic areas that should be addressed. With this roadmap, the MFSA is taking on-board recommendations made by international institutions and standard setters, namely, the International Monetary Fund (IMF), Moneyval, rating agencies, the European Commission, the European Central Bank and the European Banking Authority,” it said.

Aimed at embracing innovation and technology, the MFSA’s strategic priorities have been laid out as the following:

“Strengthen the governance, culture and conduct within the financial services market;

“Renew our commitment towards preventing, detecting and addressing instances of money laundering, financial crime and the financing of terrorism; the MFSA will be carrying out thematic reviews on sector-specific risks, and provide guidance to firms on good practice measures;

“Safeguard the stability and sustainability of the local financial market against current and emerging risks; a new Financial Stability function will be set up within the Authority, coupled with investment in Business Intelligence, Knowledge management, Cybersecurity measures and new analytical tools;

“Embrace the challenges and opportunities provided by technology and innovation to enhance our supervisory capacity and foster the growth and stability of the financial market.

“The MFSA will be investing Eur 12M in technology development over the next three years;
Increase the MFSA’s organisational capacity and operational efficiency whilst taking measures to address the gaps in the local labour market;

“Enhance our conduct supervisory framework by focusing on consumer education and awareness to ensure the protection of consumer interests.”

The MFSA is also developing a 5-year business plan “which envisages a reform in the financing model” of the authority, “ensuring its long-term sustainability and equipping [it] with sufficient resources to fulfil its mandate”.

Describing what is being envisioned, the statement divulges that this will include “the introduction of new ancillary fees to cover services currently provided free of charge, as well as a revision in authorisation and supervisory fees so that the new revenue model reflects the real cost of supervision based on the risk profile/assessment of each sector supervised by the MFSA”.

Commenting on the launch of the Strategic Plan, MFSA CEO, Joseph Cuschieri, explained that: “Our Strategic Plan is focused on strengthening the MFSA and preparing it for the next generation of financial services. This roadmap defines the specific programmes and actions we will be taking to achieve this objective, with substantial investment in our human resources, capacity building and investment in cutting-edge technologies. This reflects our commitment to provide a more agile, safe, dynamic and efficient environment to the benefit of consumers and regulated firms.”

You may have a look at the MFSA’s three-year strategic plan here.

6th September 2019

The busiest day of the year was 15th August, with close to 30,000 passengers going through MIA.

6th September 2019

The island outperformed Germany, the UK, France, Italy and Luxembourg.

4th September 2019

Of the 78.8% of homeowners, 73.8% report never having a mortgage on their main home or having paid off the debt.

4th September 2019

London and New York rank 48th and 58th respectively as they continue to try to shake off perceptions of the risk of crime and terrorism and overstretched infrastructure.