STATEMENT BY THE MINISTRY OF FINANCE AND BY THE PARLIAMENTARY SECRETARY FOR FINANCIAL SERVICES, DIGITAL ECONOMY AND INNOVATION: Reports show that we have resilient financial and banking system

“The reports published in the last week by the International Monetary Fund and the European Commission, to give a positive picture of Malta and observe how the government is moving in the right direction in several areas”. This was stated by Minister for Finance Edward Scicluna during a press conference at the Ministry of Finance in the City. The conference was also addressed by the Parliamentary Secretary for Financial Services, Digital Economy and Innovation, Silvio Schembri.

That conference dealt with news of the three reports issued other week on Malta: Report of the Article IV mission issued by the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the issued Country report by the European Commission (EC) as part of the European Semester and the Report of the assessment Program for the financial sector (FSAP) on the assessment of the stability of the financial system in Malta issued by the IMF.

The Minister Scicluna noted that both the IMF and the European Commission also praised the so government strategy stated that measures have supported a healthy economic performance, the creation of jobs, the improve public finances and reduction in the risk of poverty and social exclusion. He also said that the two reports predict that growth prospects will remain favorable in the coming years.

On the banking system of Malta, the Minister of Finance explained the key metrics used in the assessment of the FSAP have shown how the Maltese banks are strong as the ratio of total capital adequacy banks is high, liquidity is strong and profitability is good. The banking system also was found to be resilient under rigorous and adverse stress scenarios.

The IMF said that the measures taken to implement the 50 action plan against money laundering recently adopted based on National Risk Assessment are steps in the right direction to strengthen young supervision of the financial sector and the fight against money laundering and terrorist financing.

The Minister of Finance Edward Scicluna commented as, “pleased to note that the key policy priorities suggested by the three reports included the improvement of infrastructure, reduction of tax risks, addressing pressures on -socjal and age-related and Safeguarding of financial stability and the integrity, in line with the strategy of this Government plan for our country. “

Parliamentary Secretary for Financial Services, Digital Economy and Innovation Silvio Schembri pointed out that the recommendations made by the International Monetary Fund, through Assessment Program on Financial Sector (FSAP) have already been considered by others implemented. “This report was requested by the Government, a detailed analysis of the sector of financial services in Malta together with recommendations to address the challenges in this industry,” said Schembri. He pointed out that the latter made of this kind was 17 years report has been because the previous government had refused to do this exercise at a time when the Commission came to Malta in the excessive deficit procedure .

Schembri explained the restructuring process undergone by the Malta Financial Services Authority. Including by the Registry of Companies became a separate agency so the Authority to concentrate on its role as regulator. “Set up an external audit committee within the Authority and made rigorous process of transformation and restructuring exercise and this was possible by amendments to laws in Parliament,” said Schembri.

Schembri pointed out how even in Parliament there are still two draft laws of the MFSA and the reason why he failed to third reading because it was waiting for the recommendations of the reports to be considered. “In fact they have already been discussed with the opposition and will are brought in committee stage in the next few days,” said Schembri.

“As recommended by the FSAP, up enforcement committee within the Authority will be independent of the CEO and EXCO. In addition, through the restructuring, the Authority will have within it a regulatory committee, Committee on risks, and committee financial crime, “said Schembri while increasing, the ongoing authority of technological investment extensively to become more efficient and resilient challenges.

“Above all there is a clear difference between the reports made by the IMF in 2013. Those who have recently been published showing development with made, including the reduction in the unemployment rate and economic growth, ac for implementing rakkomazzjonijiet made over the years to further strengthen the financial services sector, “said Mr Schembri.

Source: Government of Malta