15 Reasons Why – Financial Services

Whether you’re considering Malta as an investment destination or looking for ways to grow and expand your existing business, here are 15 reasons why Malta should be on your radar.

  1. A dynamic industry in transition

We have a vision of an efficient, sustainable and technology-driven financial sector, and we are firmly focused on elevating our financial services sector to the next level. Asset management, insurance and private wealth have long been dominant forces in our financial services hub, while sustainable finance and fintech in all its forms play an increasingly important role. But digital finance and ESG innovation are more than emerging clusters – financial firms of all sizes and across industries are incorporating them into their strategies as our financial industry evolves towards next-generation products and services.

  1. EU entry point

Located in the center of the Mediterranean, between Europe and North Africa, Malta is the smallest member state of the European Union, yet it is deeply integrated into the world of finance.

From Malta, financial services companies can access the EU’s vast single market of over 500 million people. Companies can do business freely and sell their products in all EU member states and/or establish a business in another EU country provided that passport and notification procedures are followed where necessary. In addition, Malta has a network of some 70 double tax treaties, covering most of the world’s high growth markets, facilitating international trade and business.

  1. Sandbox solutions and cross-border testing

Malta has embarked on a journey of digital transformation in the financial services industry, and today we welcome a growing pool of tech entrepreneurs. FinTech companies can test and experiment with their products and solutions in two different sandboxes. the Malta Financial Services Authority (MFSA) offers a regulatory sandbox for FinTech operators wishing to develop and test financial products, while the Malta Digital Innovation Authority (MDIA)operates a sandbox specifically for companies developing solutions based on new technologies, such as Blockchain and Artificial Intelligence. With a focus on continuously improving the business and regulatory environment, the MFSA is currently encouraging international links and partnerships to facilitate international testing and cross-border sandboxing.

  1. Advanced digital infrastructure

Our digital infrastructure is well advanced and will ensure that your business stays connected. We are one of the few countries in the world to have nationwide 5G coverage as we also reach the EU’s target of 30 Mbps nationwide bandwidth. The island is internationally connected via five undersea fiber optic links to mainland Europe, four linking Malta to Italy and one to France. In the whole world broadband speed chartMalta ranks 21st out of 224 countries. Businesses can choose from a wide range of IT solution providers to effectively manage their technology needs.

  1. Professional Services and Consultants

The international business community is strongly supported by an impressive selection of business service providers as well as accounting and auditing firms, ranging from small firms to global ‘Big Four’ accounting firms. In addition, a large number of internationally renowned law firms and consultants operate on the island, providing new entrants with the right information and advice to make the most of the opportunities Malta’s financial sector offers. Business service providers must be registered with the Malta Financial Services Authority, which ensures a high level of confidence in their offering.

  1. A skilled workforce

Our highly skilled, multilingual workforce is familiar with global affairs and accustomed to working in an international environment. About a third of adults living in Malta have a degree, and subjects such as finance, accounting, law and IT are popular courses and attractive career paths. Most Maltese speak at least three languages: Maltese, English and Italian, French or German. Our talent pool is also surprisingly diverse due to the many international workers who have settled on the island over the past two decades.

Our relaxed lifestyle, mild climate and UK-inspired education system make Malta a popular expat destination for families with young children. We know that sometimes it can be difficult to find talents with specialized skills on the island. We support companies looking overseas for the right candidates and have tax incentives in place for highly skilled professionals taking up positions in Malta, which can sweeten your job offer to the most talented minds.

  1. A pro-business environment

We have reformed many aspects of doing business in Malta in recent years. Our business regulations are transparent and many processes have been streamlined to mitigate delays. All laws and regulations are published in English. Business First is our central point of contact guiding entrepreneurs through the formalities of setting up and running a business in Malta. Many processes have been digitized and setting up a business is relatively quick. There are several types of business structures that can be established in Malta – some of them have been designed in direct response to the needs of the sector. Our protected cell company legislation is a good example. Originally introduced for the insurance industry, cellular companies are now also popular in asset management, shipping and aviation.

  1. Island connected

We are an island, but we have never been truly isolated. In fact, our strategic position at the center of the Mediterranean has established our role as an important hub for commerce and trade. Our geographical location allows easy access to markets in Europe, Africa and the Middle East. We have an extensive network of air connections and major European economies including the UK, Germany and France can be reached in just two to three hours. Sicily is only 90 minutes away by catamaran.

  1. Quality of life

Malta is renowned for its excellent quality of life. Although rush hour traffic can be heavy, the small size of the island means that travel times are usually negligible, which positively affects work-life balance. Valletta, our capital, is one of the warmest cities in Europe, and with over 300 days of sunshine a year, much of life in Malta is spent outdoors. From al fresco dining to water sports and outdoor concerts, Malta offers a never-ending stream of activities. It’s also a land of contrasts, with plenty of urban sophistication but also rural settings that are great for hiking and walking. In Maltese society, family life is important and expats with young children particularly enjoy living in Malta.

  1. Infrastructure upgrades

Malta has a well-developed social and economic infrastructure. The country has invested heavily in its infrastructure and built environment in recent years, including roads, office space, residential housing and digital technologies. Malta’s pursuit of innovation means that capital has been channeled into digital transformation. Many economic sectors depend on state-of-the-art connectivity, and Malta has modern data centers and strong digital networks. We also have a wide range of commercial properties available, from coworking spaces and stylish new builds to century-old palaces and charming townhouses.

  1. Diversified economy

For a small country, we have a surprisingly diverse and strong economy. Financial services, iGaming, tourism, aviation, maritime services and high value-added manufacturing are some of the sectors that form the basis of the economy. Our economy was expected to reach pre-pandemic levels of activity by mid-2022, although the global economic consequences of the war in Ukraine threaten this progress in Malta as elsewhere. However, our country is entering this new period of uncertainty from a position of strength with sound macroeconomic fundamentals. Before the conflict, real GDP was expected to grow by 6.0% in 2022 and 5.0% in 2023.

  1. Talent incentives and benefits

There are currently around 12,000 professionals working in financial services in Malta. While Malta both nurtures and attracts a very talented pool of talent in financial services, more jobs are expected to open each year and many skills are in high demand. EEA citizens can live and work in Malta without any restrictions. Non-EU nationals need a work permit; however, highly skilled professionals may qualify for expedited service. Most importantly, Malta offers highly qualified overseas professionals a 15% income tax cap to attract the best and brightest to live and work on the island.

  1. Evolve over time

It’s no secret that the tax and regulatory environment for the financial services industry is changing rapidly. We are moving with the times and revising many facets of our tax system. By 2025 we will move from our current charging system to a classic system, and the government is currently working on a set of measures and incentives that will ensure that Malta remains an attractive base for financial services companies.

  1. Personalized attention and service

Many clients comment on the high level of personal attention they receive from service providers in Malta. Professionals working in financial services are often versatile and particularly understand the needs of start-ups and small businesses.

  1. Outsourcing and co-location

As outsourcing is a growing trend in financial services – from fund administration to wealth management – ​​Malta is emerging as a reliable outsourcing partner for businesses. Our industry has matured considerably in recent years, and outsourcing in Malta is no longer about reducing costs but about increasing skills and gaining access to a wide variety of value-added services. Malta is also ideally positioned as a co-location for companies wishing to establish a base to access the EU market alongside their existing business.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide on the subject. Specialist advice should be sought regarding your particular situation.