Malta – China Collaboration on Financial Services Discussed

A delegation from the China Banking Regulatory Commission (CBRC) led by its Chairman Liu Mingkang and accompanied by HE Ambassador to the Republic of China, Zhang Keyuan and the Minister of Finance, the Economy and Investment, the Hon. Tonio Fenech paid a courtesy visit to the Malta Financial Services Authority (MFSA) on September 14, 2010 following the recent signature of a Memorandum of Understanding between the MFSA and the CBRC. This Memorandum of Understanding established an agreement for the sharing of supervisory information and is aimed to enhance co-operation in the area of banking supervision. A similar agreement was signed earlier this year between the MFSA and the China Securities Regulatory Commission and which was aimed at promoting the development of the securities markets by providing a framework for co-operation mutual understanding and exchange of information.

In his address, Minister Tonio Fenech took this opportunity to highlight Government’s commitment in establishing Malta as the leading regional centre of excellence in financial services by 2015. He explained Government’s determination to succeed in this objective while being constantly vigilant to global developments. Government is responding to changes in the international commerce sphere in order to assure that the country’s cutting edge is maintained and that Malta is offering investors and business partners the best possible financial services environment.

Minister Fenech highlighted the fact that Malta is also managing to attract a significant number of important companies and many foreign banks have set up business in Malta in the last few years. The sector has attracted operators from a number of countries, among others the UK, Austria, Australia, Turkey, Switzerland, Portugal and the Gulf. There are now over 20 banks operating across a whole range of areas including corporate banking and project finance, custody, financial leasing and trade financing, private wealth management and retail banking. Over the last 10 years, investment services have also grown at a steady pace, as Malta gained reputation as an efficient funds domicile that can provide competitive access to the European market.

Recent positive assessments of the Maltese financial market development were enhanced by the World Economic Forum’s Competitiveness Index 2010-2011 which placed into 11th position in global financial market development. Key performance indicators for the financial services sector also confirm the sector’s standing as a leading innovator in the Maltese economy. The soundness of Maltese banks has been ranked in 10th position.