Work Exchange Programmes in Europe’s Financial Sector a ‘Win-Win’ for All
FEBRUARY 26, 2020

Those working in the EU’s financial sector have access to a wealth of experience-gaining opportunities in the form of work exchange programmes with European institutions, regulators, euro system central banks and national competent authorities in the eurozone. While the idea of gaining experience abroad may have traditionally started with educational institutions sending their students on foreign exchanges, companies are fast catching on to this trend. A PwC study has, in fact, found that staff who spend a period of time working in institutions in other countries found the experience significantly beneficial for their personal career growth and a positive driver of business success.

The MFSA participates in one such work-exchange opportunity – the Schuman Programme. The Schuman Programme is open to all staff members of the European System of Central Banks (ESCB) and those working within Single Supervisory Mechanism (SSM) institutions. It provides project-based external work experience, with programmes each lasting six to nine months, starting in September. Projects are approved by the European Central Bank.

For MFSA employees, participating in the projects available under the Schuman Programme provides a great opportunity to experience different cultures and environments and gain exposure to the different working practices of foreign institutions. MFSA staff can gain experience working at the Bank of France, the Central Bank of Cyprus, the Bank of Finland or the National Bank of Belgium, to mention just a handful of the opportunities that are available. Likewise, employees from other institutions can participate in work exchanges at the Authority, leading to a win-win system for all: MFSA staff members can work alongside their overseas peers, who bring with them experience and can share best practices with the overseas visitors reaping similar rewards.

The regulator has submitted four work exchange projects to the European Central Bank (ECB) – on insurance stress testing; insurance and pensions supervision investment profiles; supervisory processes within programme management; and the transposition of the Investment Firm Directive – all of which have been accepted. The four projects, which are open to all European employees working with institutions under the Schuman Programme’s umbrella, are earmarked to be spread over a maximum of nine months, starting this September.

The MFSA is also currently hosting two overseas colleagues who are participating in an ongoing project led by the regulator’s Conduct Supervision Function. Andrew Cudmore, who works with the Central Bank of Ireland, will be completing his term in Malta at the end of March 2020. Pedro Pereira da Silva, a European Central Bank employee, will be finishing his term at the MFSA at the end of May 2020.  Pedro has spoken highly of his experience at the Authority, saying it is proving to be a rewarding experience.

“The experience at the Authority has been very positive,” Pedro said. “The MFSA welcomes and integrates newcomers and non-Maltese nationals very seamlessly. From a professional perspective, the Schuman Programme project has given me the possibility to enhance my project development and planning skills as well as to strengthen my technical knowledge in the different financial sectors.”

In the past, the Authority has welcomed Schuman Programme participants in its Internal Audit, Conduct Supervision, Authorisations and Quality Assurance functions.

With the evident career-boosting and personal development-enhancing benefits of participating in work exchange programmes, the MFSA is committed to keep encouraging its staff to take advantage of the opportunities available which serves to ensure that competencies match the needs of the continuously evolving financial services sector.