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Dr Alex Borg

The Malta Financial Services Authority (MFSA) has recently unveiled its Vision 2021, setting out the Authority’s mission and strategic vision underpinned by a set of goals and objectives, by means of a Consultation Paper.

Vision 2021 sees MFSA setting its framework in order to enhance its position as a forward-looking, proactive and trustworthy supervisory authority with one clear purpose - safeguarding the integrity of markets and maintaining stability within the financial sector.

Business models, products and services in the fintech sphere are often shaped by the increasing significance of data and analytics, risk management and compliance, security, digitization, enterprise mobility, payments and enhanced customer experience. Therefore, the MFSA will do its utmost to create a tailored approach to authorisation for innovative firms. Nonetheless, the Authority is also focusing all its efforts on risk management, conduct, enforcement, and anti-money laundering / counter-financing of terrorism supervision.

The MFSA is evaluating a great deal of feasible solutions to create innovation and to facilitate the industry’s access to fintech, including through the establishment of a Fintech Regulatory Sandbox and supporting the development of Innovation Hubs and Innovation Partnerships.

This Consultation Paper’s purpose is that of developing Malta into a global FinTech hub. The Authority’s objective is that of working with both startups and SMEs, as well as well-established global financial institutions in order to attract financial technology investment and help drive increased investment, entrepreneurship, and employment across the industry.

One of the main objectives of the MFSA with regards to the FinTech industry is that of adopting RegTech, which provides technologically advanced solutions to address regulatory challenges in the financial services industry, and SupTech, being the use of innovative technology by supervisory authorities to support regulatory supervision work.

With these objectives in mind, the MFSA’s Fintech Strategy is based on six pillars:

  1. Regulation – to adopt regulatory and supervisory initiatives to support innovation and improve regulatory efficiency
  2. Ecosystem – to foster community, demand and collaboration and enhance access to finance
  3. Architecture – to encourage collaboration through the adoption of Open APIs and shared platforms
  4. International Links – to build international links across jurisdictions to foster collaboration and trust
  5. Knowledge – to cultivate deep talent pools and stimulate research and collaborative ideas
  6. Security for the MFSA – to establish an environment that is resilient to cybersecurity threats

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