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Regulatory Updates

March 2019




Contact the PwC Malta Regulatory Team for further information in relation to any of the updates or if you wish to discuss how these may impact your business.


Welcome to PwC Malta’s Regulatory Updates - giving a recap for this month of the main legislative updates and key regulator activity.

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Anti-Money Laundering

FIAU Notice


05/03/2019    FATF Consultation Exercise – Guidance Documents on the Application of the Risk-Based Approach (“RBA”)

The FATF is currently developing guidance to assist countries, competent authorities and professionals in the legal, accountancy, and trust and company service providers sectors in the application of the RBA to anti-money laundering and counter-financing of terrorism obligations.

Prior to finalising the guidance, the FATF is consulting private sector stakeholders, seeking their feedback and specific proposals to the text of the three guidance documents which may be accessed through the below link.

This consultation is open until 8th April 2019 and the FATF intends to adopt the final guidance at its June 2019 Plenary meeting.

FIAU notice can be seen here.


18/03/2019      FATF Consultation Exercise – Mitigating Risks from Virtual Assets

The FIAU would like to notify subject persons that the FATF has launched a consultation exercise in relation to the interpretative note to accompany FATF Recommendation 15 which was issued in October 2018 following the inclusion of virtual assets and virtual asset service providers in the Recommendation.

Interested parties are invited to read the Interpretative Note’s draft paragraph 7(b) and provide any feedback to the FATF by Monday 8th April.

FIAU Notice can be seen here.


18/03/2019        Egmont Group – Set of Indicators for Corruption Related Cases from the FIU’s Perspective

The Egmont Group has published a set of indicators for corruption related cases based on information gathered from the FIUs’ perspective. The FIAU believes that this document may assist and complement the work being undertaken by subject persons.

The document is accessible through the Egmont Group website and the FIAU website.

The FIAU Notice can be seen here.

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Asset Management

MFSA Circulars


28/03/2019    Circular on a proposed Temporary Permission Regime (‘TPR’) for UK Investment Funds, Asset Managers and Investment Firms (‘UK entities’) passporting into Malta in relation to a No-Deal Brexit Scenario

This circular aims to provide an update to UK entities passporting into Malta.  The MFSA intends to grant a temporary permission to UK entities which already passport their services and activities into Malta. This Temporary Permission Regime (“TPR”) is intended to ensure financial stability, business continuity and investor protection. The TPR shall only apply to existing clients/contracts and will apply in the event that the UK leaves he EU without a withdrawal agreement.

The TPR granted by Malta shall remain valid for 12 months after the Brexit date. The TPR grants time to UK entities to: (i) obtain the necessary authorisation; and/or (ii) terminate existing contracts in an orderly manner; and/or (iii) proceed with the assignment of the contracts to a duly authorised entity.

Entities wishing to avail themselves of the TPR shall urgently analyse their position and inform the MFSA.

-Asset Management – It is worth noting that Maltese regulation already provides a framework (subject to the satisfaction of various conditions) for (i) the delegation of investment management/portfolio management and/or risk management by Maltese alternative investment fund managers to non-EU asset managers; and (ii) the marketing of non-EU AIFs managed by EU AIFMs or EU AIFs managed by non-EU AIFMs in Malta.

-Investment Firms – UK licenced investment firms authorised to provide cross-border passporting in Malta may refer to the “ESMA Statement- Reminder to firms on their MiFID obligations on the disclosure of information to clients in the context of the UK withdrawing from the EU” published in December 2018.   Moreover, in this respect, the circular lays down a number of actions which UK Investment Firms are required to adhere to including keeping clients fully informed of Brexit consideration relating to their services and taking necessary precautions to deal with the possible consequences of a no-deal Brexit.

Further to an MFSA circular dated 11 January 2019 (kindly refer to the Regulatory Updates for the month of January 2019), Maltese asset managers and investment firms falling within the scope of the TPR granted by the UK Financial Conduct Authority (“FCA”) are reminded to follow the notification procedure.

Any material issues which would need to be flagged to the MFSA in relation to the above should be reported to the MFSA on


Legal Update

Act No. IX of 2019    Act to amend the Financial Markets Act, Cap. 345

This Act amends the Financial Markets Act namely, the provisions relating to the delegation of functions and powers of the Listing Authority and the substitution of transitional arrangements at the end of the Financial Markets Act.

Amendment Act can be seen here.

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MFSA Circulars


22/03/2019    Circular on the Publication of a new Credit Intermediaries’ Rule

The MFSA would like to notify interested parties that it will be publishing a new Credit Intermediaries’ Rule (the “Rule”) which shall be issued for the purposes of the Credit Agreements for Consumers relating to Residential Immovable Property Regulations (the “Regulations”). The Rule partly transposes and implements the Mortgage Credit Directive.

The scope of this Rule is to determine the manner in which persons shall apply for admission with the MFSA to act as a credit intermediary or tied credit intermediary and the knowledge and competence requirements for staff of creditors and credit intermediaries pursuant to regulations 6(3) and 18A(8) of the Regulations.

Creditors and credit intermediaries are required to ensure that their staff possess a qualification and professional experience that meet the requirements stipulated in Part II of the Rule. The qualification requirement is effective as from 21 March 2019. The circular goes into further detail in relation to persons who do not fulfil the qualifications and experience requirements by the date of implementation of the said Rule.

Click here access the circular pages.


22/03/2019    Circular to Credit Institutions and branches on changes to submissions of ‘ITS on Supervisory Reporting’ data

This circular is aimed at all credit institutions and branches with regards to changes to be implemented by entities when submitting data required by the Implementing Technical Standard on Supervisory Reporting, to MFSA.

1.Reporting Requirements –  the MFSA is issuing Guidelines to the CRDIV Supervisory Reporting Requirements which shall offer insight on the applicability of all reporting templates within different ITS modules. Credit institutions and branches are being requested to take this document into consideration as from 3rd April 2019. Templates which are not applicable or not required shall be omitted and only applicable templates should be validated and converted to XBRL prior to submission.

2.XBRL file naming convention – The circular provides all the relevant information required to complete the naming convention of the XBRL file which shall have the following format:    LEI_CountryCode_Framework_Module_ReferenceDate_Timestamp

3.ZIP file naming convention – Institutions are required to add the LEI at the end of the currently applicable naming convention for the zip file submitted to the Authority

4.Submissions and re-submissions – Supervisory reporting modules are to be submitted through the MFSA’s LH Portal by the submission deadlines. In the case of a re-submission, all documents shall be submitted.

Click here to access the circular page.


27/03/2019    Guidance for Credit Institutions, Payment Institutions and Electronic Money Institutions Opening Accounts for Fintechs

The MFSA, jointly with the FIAU, have issued a Guidance Document for credit institutions, payment institutions and electronic money institutions (hereinafter the ‘Institutions’) for consultation.

The Guidance Document is intended to assist such Institutions to acquire a better understanding of money laundering and financing of terrorism risks of any prospective customers, active in technology reliant areas, prior to servicing them.

The Consultation is open to the public until 30 April 2019

Click here to access the circular page.


Legal Update

LN43 of 2019  Banking Act (Cap. 371) - Depositor Compensation Scheme (Amendment) Regulations, 2019

The amendment regulations amend the Depositor Compensation Scheme Regulation and further legislate the eligibility of deposits, the financing of the Compensation Scheme, the Compensation Contribution and the obligation to pay contributions.

Legal Notice can be seen here

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MGA Press Release


05/03/2019    The Malta Gaming Authority (“MGA”) signs Memorandum of Understanding (“MoU”) with the Swedish Gambling Authority

The MGA would like to notify stakeholders that it has entered into an MoU with the Spelinspektionen, being the Swedish Gambling Authority, for the purposes of enhanced cooperation between the two authorities with respect to public policy objectives and mutually common values.

The aim of the MoU is to facilitate on-going close communications between the two authorities, and to support effective sharing of information on matters of mutual interest and policy areas. Both authorities have also agreed to provide the best possible operational assistance to one another, on a continuous basis, in accordance with both their respective procedures and regulatory policies.

This MoU came into force as of the 4th March 2019.

MGA Press Release can be found here.


21/03/2019    The MGA publishes a Preliminary Market Consultation Document to request information on projects for a Unified Self-Exclusion System

The MGA has issued a Preliminary Market Consultation document to request information pertaining to possible project implementations which could provide a Unified Self-Exclusion System to be applied to the regulated gaming industry in Malta. This document may be accessed from the Malta Government’s Electronic Public Procurement System (ePPS).

The MGA envisages that a Unified Self-Exclusion System would be a significant step forward in the MGA’s agenda to implement further control for the prevention of gambling-related harm, extending the criteria in Part IV of the Player Protection Directive, and Part IV of the Gaming Premises Regulations.

The closing date for the preliminary market consultation process is 31 May 2019.

MGA Press Release can be found here.

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MFSA Consultation Document 


11/03/2019   Consultation Procedure – Consultation on the MFSA Guidance on Cybersecurity - Note regarding an extension of consultation period

Further to the Consultation Document issued by the MFSA in February 2019 (kindly refer to the Regulatory Updates of February 2019 for further details), the MFSA would like to notify interested parties that the consultation period has been extended to Monday 25 March 2019.

Circular can be seen here.


MFSA and FIAU Joint Consultation Document


27/03/2019    Guidance for Credit Institutions, Payment Institutions and Electronic Money Institutions Opening Accounts for Fintechs

Kindly refer to the section on Banking.


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