MFSA puts out strategic plan, sketches new business plan

(source: Unplash/Med Badr Chemmaoui)

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While embracing innovation and technology, the Malta Financial Services Authority’s recently published strategic plan seeks to improve efficiency and efficacy. The new five-year business plan the authority is currently penning on is thought to make MFSA self-funded by 2024.

Focussing on challenges local and international financial markets face — including labour shortage and fintech driven new emerging risks — the Malta Financial Services Authority aims to embrace innovation and technology, while improving the efficiency and efficacy of the authority’s core functions, according to the MFSA’s three-year Strategic Plan outlining its vision until 2021.

“Our Strategic Plan is focussed on strengthening the MFSA and preparing it for the next generation of financial services,” said MFSA CEO Joseph Cuschieri.

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In commitment to “openness, transparency and accountability” the authority conducted a consultation with licence holders in the form of a survey which was carried out in March 2019, enabling licence holders to rate the performance of the MFSA and provide feedback on challenges and strategic areas that should be addressed.

Hence, the authority says the Strategic Plan 2019-2021 takes on board the recommendations by international institutions, as well as standard-setters, such as the International Monetary Fund (IMF), Moneyval, the European Commission, the European Central Bank, the European Banking Authority and rating agencies, according to a press statement by the MFSA.

“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,” Mr Cuschieri added.

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Additionally, the strategic plan also takes into consideration international regulatory developments and instances of misconduct on both a local and global level, which may have negatively impacted the trust in the financial services market worldwide.

Reform to make MFSA self-funded

In the meantime, the MFSA says it is also working on a new five-year business plan that envisages reforming the financing model of the authority to ensure its long-term sustainability and equip the watchdog with sufficient resources to fulfil its mandate.

The new business plan also aims to make the authority become self-funded by 2024, which financing model is similar to watchdogs in other European jurisdictions.

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The planned reform is seen to include the introduction of new ancillary fees to cover services currently provided free of charge, accompanied by a possible revision in authorisation and supervisory fees. Therefore, the new revenue model is expected to reflect the real cost of supervision based on the risk profile/assessment of each sector supervised by the MFSA.