Authorisations Committed to providing a clear, open and transparent authorisation process whilst ensuring rigorous assessment of the applicable regulatory standards.

The Authorisations Process

The MFSA is the competent authority in Malta responsible for granting authorisation to persons seeking to carry out financial services activities. Authorisation is an important part of the overall supervisory framework.

The authorisation process of entities seeking to enter the financial services industry is a key function of the Malta Financial Services Authority in its gatekeeper role. The objective of the assessment of an application for authorisation is to ensure that criteria detailed under the respective financial services legislation are satisfied at authorisation stage and continue to be fulfilled on an ongoing basis.

Find out below (i) Who requires Authorisation (ii) Our Authorisation process (iii) Personal Questionnaire (iv) Corporate Questionnaire

Prospective Applicants and Applicants shall refer to the MFSA Authorisation Process – Service Charter when determining:

  1. the Authority’s considerations and expectations applicable to prospective Applicants and Applicants; and
  2. the timeframes applicable to Applicants for the effective conclusion of the Authorisation process.

The Service Charter also provides guidance on the MFSA Authorisation process and sets out the MFSA’s commitment in return.

The Service Charter is meant to be a starting point when such persons are considering applying for authorisation. It also aims to facilitate the Authorisation process by engaging with Applicants, providing high level guidance, and setting out our expectations in terms of regulatory standards. Furthermore, the document sets out key changes and enhancements affecting the processing of Applications that the Authority has implemented.

 

   Authorisations FAQs

Rule 4 of the MFSA Act outlines the MFSA’s Authorisation process, which is triggered when a prospective Applicant submits an intention to submit an Application for Authorisation.

Prospective Applicants should refer to Rule 4 to determine the applicable Authorisation Application Forms. For Applications which are not specified in the Rule, the respective Applications and supporting documentation as stipulated in the respective Regulatory Framework should be submitted.

Rule 4 of the MFSA Act has been issued in terms of Article 16(2)(a) of the MFSA Act and should be read in conjunction with any other Regulatory Framework administered by the Authority and/or in force in Malta, and any regulations and rules issued thereunder.

The MFSA’s Authorisations Portal

The MFSA is committed to providing a clear, open and transparent authorisation process while ensuring a rigorous assessment of the applicable regulatory standards.

The requested documentation is listed in the applicable application form for the specific category of licence or recognition in the Authorisations Portal below.

Banking
Credit and Financial
Institutions

Securities

Insurance, Pensions and Intermediaries

Virtual Financial Assets

Banking – Credit and Financial Institutions

Credit institutions are entities licensed to operate under the Banking Act (Cap. 371 of the Laws of Malta). According to the Banking Act, a credit institution can undertake a number of activities which are specified in the Schedule to the same Act.

The business of banking is the taking of deposits of money from the public from retail customers for the purpose of employing, lending or investing such money.

Financial Institutions are entities licensed to operate under the Financial Institutions Act (Cap. 376 of the Laws of Malta) and means a person who regularly and habitually undertakes the carrying out of the activity listed in the First Schedule thereof.

Financial Institutions fall within two broad categories:
i) Financial Institutions undertaking other activities such as lending, financial leasing, the provision of guarantees and commitments, foreign exchange services and money brokering;

ii) Institutions undertaking payment services and/or the issuance of electronic money (more commonly known as ‘payment institutions’ or ‘electronic money institutions’, respectively).

Securities

Investment firm is defined as any legal person whose regular occupation or business is the provision of one or more investment services to third parties and/or the performance of one or more investment activities on a professional basis.

These Investment Firms are licensed to operate under the Investment Services Act (Cap. 370 of the Laws of Malta).

Any scheme or arrangement which has as its object or as one of its objects the collective investment of capital acquired by means of an offer of units for subscription, sale or exchange and which has a set of characteristics as specified in the Investment Services Act.

Investment Services Providers are regulated in terms of the Investment Services Act (Cap. 370 of the Laws of Malta) and include:
i) MiFID Firms;
ii) Alternative Investment Fund Managers (AIFMs) and UCITS Management Companies, collectively referred to as Investment Managers;
iii) Custodians.

Any scheme or arrangement which has as its object or as one of its objects the collective investment of capital acquired by means of an offer of units for subscription, sale or exchange and which has a set of characteristics as specified in the Investment Services Act.

Investment Services Providers are regulated in terms of the Investment Services Act (Cap. 370 of the Laws of Malta) and include:
i) MiFID Firms;
ii) Alternative Investment Fund Managers (AIFMs) and UCITS Management Companies, collectively referred to as Investment Managers;
iii) Custodians.

Any scheme or arrangement which has as its object or as one of its objects the collective investment of capital acquired by means of an offer of units for subscription, sale or exchange and which has a set of characteristics as specified in the Investment Services Act.

Investment Services Providers are regulated in terms of the Investment Services Act (Cap. 370 of the Laws of Malta) and include:
i) MiFID Firms;
ii) Alternative Investment Fund Managers (AIFMs) and UCITS Management Companies, collectively referred to as Investment Managers;
iii) Custodians.

Any scheme or arrangement which has as its object or as one of its objects the collective investment of capital acquired by means of an offer of units for subscription, sale or exchange and which has a set of characteristics as specified in the Investment Services Act.

Investment Services Providers are regulated in terms of the Investment Services Act (Cap. 370 of the Laws of Malta) and include:
i) MiFID Firms;
ii) Alternative Investment Fund Managers (AIFMs) and UCITS Management Companies, collectively referred to as Investment Managers;
iii) Custodians.

Regulated markets are multilateral systems operated and / or managed by a market operator, which bring together or facilitate the bringing together of multiple third-party buying and selling interests in financial instruments – in the system and in accordance with its non-discretionary rules – in a way that results in a contract, in respect of the financial instruments admitted to trading under its rules and, or systems, and which is authorised and functions regularly and in accordance with Title III of MiFID.

Regulated Markets are regulated in terms of the Financial Markets Act (Cap. 345 of the Laws of Malta).

Securtisations are transactions or arrangements undertaken by securitisation vehicles, including securitisation cell companies, to issue financial instruments in order to directly or indirectly, and in whole or in part, finance the acquisition of securitisation assets from originators by any means, or the assumption of risks from originators by any means, or the granting of secured loans or other secured facilities to originators.

Securitisations regulated in terms of the Securitisation Act (Cap. 484 of the Laws of Malta).

Insurance, Pensions and Intermediaries

This section applies to legal persons seeking to establish an Insurance Undertakings, a Reinsurance Undertaking or a Captives in terms of the Insurance Business Act (Cap. 403 of the Laws of Malta) (“IBA”) and pursuant to Article 7 of the IBA to carry on direct or reinsurance general business and, or long term business.

A Personal Retirement Scheme is a scheme established for the principal purpose of providing Retirement Benefits. This section applies to Retirement Scheme Administrators seeking to establish a Personal Retirement Scheme in terms of the Retirement Pensions Act (Cap. 514 of the Laws of Malta).

An Occupational Retirement Scheme is a scheme established for the principal purpose of providing Retirement Benefits in the context of an occupational activity. This section applies to Retirement Scheme Administrators seeking to establish an Occupational Retirement Scheme to in terms of the Retirement Pensions Act (Cap. 514 of the Laws of Malta).

Retirement Funds are arrangements established for the principal purpose of holding and investing contributions made to one or more retirement schemes and/or overseas retirement schemes. This section applies to Retirement Scheme Administrators seeking to establish a Retirement fund in terms of the Retirement Pensions Act (Cap. 514 of the Laws of Malta).

Insurance Agents, Insurance Managers, Insurance Brokers, Tied Insurance Intermediaries and Ancillary Insurance Intermediaries are regulated by the Insurance Distribution Act, regulations issued thereunder, and the Insurance Distribution Rules and Conduct of Business Rules made by the MFSA.

Virtual Financial Assets

Persons wishing to provide and exercise the functions listed under Article 7 and/or Article 14 of the VFA Act shall be required to register as a VFA Agent, through the submission of the online VFA Agent Registration Form which may be accessed by clicking below.

The Registration Form needs to be accompanied by Annexes which may be accessed through the links below.

Any person wishing to issue a VFA to the public in or from within Malta is required to draw up a whitepaper which includes the information listed in the First Schedule of the VFA Act and register said whitepaper with the MFSA.

Persons wishing to register a Whitepaper with the MFSA in accordance with the VFA Act are required to submit, through a registered VFA Agent, an online Whitepaper Registration Form. The Registration Form needs to be accompanied by Annexes which may be accessed through the links below. Whitepapers which have been successfully registered by the Authority shall subsequently be found within the Authority’s Financial Services Register.

Persons wishing to provided one or more services listed under the Second Schedule of the VFA Act in relation to such assets are required to apply for a licence through a registered VFA Agent, by submitting the online VFA Service Provider Application Form.

Beneficial Owners, Qualifying Holders, Administrators and Senior Managers of the Applicant are required to submit a PQ prior to the submission of the Application Form. The Application Form needs to be accompanied by Annexes which may be accessed through the links below.

VFA Services Provider should submit their application through a registered VFA Agent.

For more information on the framework please visit... VFA