Publication of amendments to various financial services laws

by , on Aug 06, 2019 10:48:15 AM

Act XXVI of 2019 transposes and implements, inter alia, the Payment Services Directive 2, the Payment Accounts Directive and the Electronic Money Directive into the Maltese financial services framework.

The Act seeks to amend the following laws:

  • Banking Act
  • Financial Institutions Act
  • Malta Financial Services Authority Act
  • Financial Markets Act
  • Companies Act

The Act begins by adding multiple provisions to the Banking Act. One of the standout features revolves around the possibility that payment institutions, e-money institutions and account information service providers now have a right to access to a respective credit institution’s payment account. It then goes on to add a provision relating to the management of operational and security risks, which provides all the necessary measures which the credit institution should implement in order to avoid breaches arising from these risks, including measures such as incident reporting.

The Act then moves on to include amendments to the Financial Institutions Act. The first amendment involves the addition of the provisions concerning licensing and registration requirements and restrictions. Provisions involving the suspension, withdrawal, or restriction of the license or registration are also included in this Act. A section dedicated to enhanced detail on initial capital requirements is also included in this Act, as well as further guidance on own funds requirements.  

The Act also expands the roles and procedures to be adopted by the MFSA. This expansion includes the appointment of an inspector in charge of investigating and reporting on the state of a financial institution’s business, the right of entry of an agent, employee or officer as appointed by the MFSA and also lays down the procedures to be taken by the authority in the suspicion of any breaches.

Other areas which the Act covers include the following:

  • Added emphasis on the obligation of financial institutions to provide information to customers
  • A specified procedure pertaining to the opening subsidiaries and branches
  • The role of the public register

Get in touch with the Banking and Financial Institutions practice group for more information.