Over the past decade, Malta has moved from being an offshore to an onshore jurisdiction. It 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 in the world to reach an advanced accord on fiscal matters with the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). As a result of this agreement Malta is NOT considered as a tax haven. It is actively involved with the OECD, the EU and the Commonwealth in modelling global regulatory policy.
Malta's finance industry has benefited significantly from the country's national policy of moving to the mainstream. Financial Services is the fastest growing sector of the Maltese economy and one of the most important employers of trained professional staff.
Creating the Malta Financial Services Authority (MFSA) as a single regulator was a structured part of Malta's long term strategy to create a mainstream finance centre in the country. Malta is a jurisdiction that follows and helps develop international best practice.
The MFSA was established by law on 23 July 2002. It is a fully autonomous public institution and reports to Parliament on an annual basis. The MFSA has taken over supervisory functions previously carried out by the Central Bank of Malta, the Malta Stock Exchange and the Malta Financial Services Centre and is the single regulator for financial services. The sector incorporates all financial activity including banking, investment and insurance. The MFSA also manages the Registry of Companies and has also taken over responsibility as the Listing Authority.