In terms of article 4(1)(c) of the Malta Financial Services Authority Act, one of the MFSAs functions is to keep the general public informed of important developments in the sector that it regulates, and to provide the public with relevant information and guidance. Article 16(8) of the Malta Financial Services Authority Act also provides that:
Any administrative or disciplinary sanction or measure, of whatever type, including reprimands or warnings, imposed or decided by the Authority under any law for whose administration it is responsible, shall be published in such medium and in such manner and for such duration as may be deemed warranted by the circumstances and the nature and seriousness of the breach or wrongdoing.
The MFSA is obliged to make public all sanctions and penalties it imposes on its licence-holders so that the general public will be better informed. The current MFSA policy on publication is that after a licence-holder is notified of the MFSAs decision to impose a penalty or administrative sanction, the MFSA shall publish a notice of the sanction on its website and in such other media deemed appropriate in the circumstances. Where and as applicable, the notice published on the website will indicate clearly whether the penalty or sanction is currently being appealed against. Publication on the MFSA website is based on the following criteria:
A notice to the public in respect of a fine not exceeding 3,000, a warning, a reprimand or other minor infringement shall remain posted on the website for a minimum period of two (2) years.
A notice to the public in respect of a fine exceeding 3,000 but not exceeding 25,000, or of more serious infringements shall remain posted on the website for a period of five (5) years.
A notice to the public in respect of serious infringements, including suspension or restriction of a licence for regulatory purposes (not a voluntary request for suspension or restriction) and fines exceeding 25,000 shall remain posted on the website for a period of ten (10) years.
A notice to the public in respect of a cancellation of a licence for regulatory purposes (not a voluntary surrender) shall not be removed from the web-site.
A warning of a general nature shall be removed from the web-site only when it is established that there is no further threat to the public. The removal of such warnings is not tied to a pre-determined number of years. The MFSA seeks to ensure high standards of conduct and management throughout the financial system.
The MFSA believes that the naming of persons, including licence-holders that have been sanctioned for breaching provisions of law, will lead to a greater awareness of the standards which should guide the activities and the conduct of operators in the financial services industry.
These notices are intended as a summary of the Authority’s decisions and, accordingly, are not the actual decisions themselves.