Financial Services Momentum
Over the past decade, Malta has increasingly expanded its role as a widely accepted international financial services centre. Financial services, today, contribute approximately 15% to the island’s GDP. This positions the financial services industry as the fastest-growing sector in the Maltese economy, powered by a positive legislative framework and a pro-business attitude.
Over the past decade, Malta has moved from an offshore to an onshore jurisdiction, has completed a programme of reforming all its finance sector legislation in line with international best practice and was one of the first six countries to reach an advanced accord on fiscal matters with the OECD. It is also actively involved with the OECD, the EU and the Commonwealth in modelling global regulatory policy.
A Professionally Relaxed Financial Centre
Malta offers a refreshing mix of characteristics and a welcome alternative to other busy financial centres. It offers a number of distinct advantages that moved us to use Malta as our preferred fund business platform:
- A high standard and a low cost of living coupled with a diverse range of cultural events and leisure activities
- Wide use of English and Italian, with the definitive version of financial legislation being in English
- Financial services regulation modeled along best practices in European and OECD countries
- An open market economy and friendly relations with Mediterranean rim countries
- A politically stable member of the EU, infrastructural soundness and a strong economy
- A highly educated and motivated workforce, with a large pool of efficient and versatile administrative and managerial staff.
Benefits of being small
For a country the size of Malta, being “discovered” will always be a challenge to overcome. Since its independence, Malta has successfully managed a number of challenges to diversify its economy from the old fortress image into a fast-growing, young and vibrant country with a strong can-do attitude.
In the financial services sector, rapid response times from the country’s regulator, cost competitive solutions and a modern legislative framework have proved to be particularly attractive to the fund and the captive insurance industries, with strong growth registered in both sectors.
Malta as an onshore financial services jurisdiction has a very favourable tax regime for both investment funds domiciled in Malta and their non residential investors. There is no capital gains tax or income tax payable in Malta (excluding UCITS Schemes which fall under the Savings Directive).
Malta became a full member of the European Union on the 1st May 2004 and EU membership has given a new dimension to the island’s financial services and fund business.
Funds registered and licensed in Malta and structured as UCITS (EU version of investment funds) will benefit from the Single Passport. Fund managers may freely promote these funds throughout the EU countries without the need of seeking approval of any other EU regulator.