In 1994 Malta has been transformed into an onshore jurisdiction. Following its accession into the EU in 2004, it transposed a number of EU laws relating to Banks, Investment firms, Insurance undertakings and IUCITS, providing a comprehensive legal framework for a solid financial services sector. Nonetheless, the Banking Act (Chapter 371 of the Laws of Malta) is the main legislative instrument catering for the regulation and supervision of banks in Malta. Apart from the regulation of credit institutions, this Act is also accompanied by a variety of legal notices regulating specific aspects of banking transactions. The Civil Code and the Commercial Code further supplement this by regulating transactions such as loans, pledges, deposits, payments, setting-off and hypothecs, amongst others. The Malta Financial Services Authority Act (Chapter 330 of the Laws of Malta) and the Investment Services Act (Chapter 370 of the Laws of Malta) also set out the groundwork for the setting up of an efficient and accessible single regulator for financial services and the provision of investment services respectively.
Malta’s favourable tax regime available in the ambit of the Double Tax Treaty network, together with the relatively low costs for set-up, renders Malta an ideal jurisdiction for the licensing of operations for both local and international banking services.
Mifsud & Mifsud Advocates advises one of Malta’s major banks and has also been engaged by international banks in transactions concerning the Maltese jurisdiction.