As it enters its second year of operation, the Financial Supervisor’s Academy has established itself as a platform that champions growth and supervisory convergence through the sharing of expertise among peers. With an eye for excellence and relevance, the FSA provides current and future supervisors – including the Authority’s own employees – with the insight and the competencies needed to carry out their job, within an ever-evolving landscape. As higher standards are set throughout the industry, the FSA has an important role when it comes to combining quality, efficiency and professionalism.
As the Academy lays out its ambitious plans for the rest of the year, NewsHub spoke to Ivan Zammit, MFSA’s Chief Operations Officer, Antoaneta Iossifova, Head of People & Culture, as well as Aleksandra Dimitrova, FSA’s Learning & Development Business Partner.
Ivan Zammit anchored the role of the Financial Supervisors Academy firmly within the MFSA’s strategy in general, by drawing attention to the Authority’s main purpose: acting as a gatekeeper to the sector; carrying out effective supervision; and being a credible deterrent to crime and non-compliance through enforcement action. He stated that: “While ongoing transformation through technology and process improvements is essential to keep up with the sector’s evolution, investment in human capital is critical and is at the core of the Authority’s strategy to achieve its purpose. Hence, continuous professional development is essential to have effective regulation, supervision, and enforcement.”
This was the reason that the Authority strategically embarked on a focused approach to specialised continuous learning and knowledge sharing, through the establishment of the FSA as an accredited training centre, and by adopting a two-pronged curriculum approach. This consists of an inward-looking core programme, focusing on short- and long-term development, tailored to the specific requirements of the Authority’s employees throughout their journey at the MFSA, complemented with an outer layer aimed at creating a symbiotic high-quality knowledge transfer primarily with other regulatory and supervisory entities. This is also extended to industry players when it comes to specific themes, roping in world-class expertise from across the spectrum of regulatory bodies and institutions.
Ms Iossifova adds that: “The Financial Supervisors Academy plays a big part in the Authority’s learning and development strategy. In alignment with MFSA’s training needs analysis and employee development plans, the Academy offers employees the opportunity for development by providing a wide range of training initiatives, both internal and external, on technical, operational and behavioural topics. In fact, since its establishment, the FSA has provided 34,000 hours of training to MFSA employees on topics such as market abuse, sustainable finance, and anti-money laundering.”
Expanding on the distinction between the events organised by the MFSA, as opposed to those organised by the FSA, Ms Iossifova said: “The FSA aims to stimulate debate on regulatory matters and supervisory mechanisms to strengthen the knowledge of our target audience of regulatory authorities, EU institutions, academics and students. The learning experience differs from MFSA events, whose target is more at an industry level, in that the FSA’s learning objectives are tailored to supervisors.” However, she did reveal that the FSA has plans to extend its content to industry representatives as well, to provide awareness of how supervisory work is carried out in each respective sector and learn from some of the leading experts in policy making and implementation.
In such a dynamic sector, how does the Academy determine what the curriculum should comprise? Aleksandra Dimitrova, who was involved in the establishment of the curriculum, stated that the process involves extensive collaboration within the Authority, including a training needs analysis which also ensures that the organisation’s priorities are captured. The scope of the curriculum also needs to be aligned with activities planned by the European Supervisory Authorities.
Following months of hard work, she is now looking forward to the fruition of this year’s curriculum with defining highlights in the coming months including events on virtual financial assets, the transition to MiCA, sustainable finance, cyber-resilience, and the Digital Operational Resilience Act which will be delivered alongside experts from the EU Commission.
To find out more about the Academy’s events, visit: https://www.mfsa.mt/fsa/.