As the Malta Financial Service Authority (MFSA) enters the last year of implementation of its Strategic Plan for 2019 – 2021, it has published its latest strategic update, which focuses on the long-term sustainability of the financial services sector.

With the update, the authority says it has recalibrated its position and regrouped its strategic priorities under three key areas: supervisory transformation, fostering a stronger compliance culture, and innovation of growth.

The priority on supervisory transformation will see, amongst other measures, the organisation continue to address its independent structure and governance structures, the enhancing of its capacity and capability and the continued addressing of cybersecurity, in light of COVID.

With regards to compliance, the organisation plans to encourage the embracing of the “three lines of defence” model, and move towards more intelligent and proactive governance, supported by external expertise where necessary.

It will also study compliance costs, and conduct a study to quantify the compliance costs emanating from financial services regulation in every sector falling under its remit.

Finally, with regards to innovation and growth, the authority suggests that it will continue to engage with private and public stakeholders whilst enhancing its internal capacity in relation to technological and economical developments.

Additionally, it will continue work on amendments to its new Capital Markets Rules and on the Sponsors’ regime which is planned to be rolled out in Q4 of 2021.

All of these, it says, are conducive to sustainability and long-term value creation.

Christopher Buttigieg, CEO ad interim and Chief Officer Supervision at the MFSA remarked that “the unforeseen economic shocks and the evolving economic and social realities brought about by COVID-19 have only reinforced our determination to continue steering the sector to a higher threshold of long-term sustainability.

“The Strategic Update sharpens our focus and prepares us to face the challenges arising in this new environment.

“The Authority’s focus on greater accountability, improved communication with stakeholders and enhancement of consumer trust remain at the top of our agenda for the remaining period of this strategic term and beyond,” he added.

The 2019-2021 term was, and continues to be, largely dominated by the Authority’s internal transformation, necessary to build the capacity and capability for the future sustainment of the industry, it says.

Looking to the future, the MFSA believes that the next term will be characterised by more outward-looking initiatives that will build on the Authority’s evolving position, capabilities, strengths and policy initiatives at national and European levels.

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