On the 21st of April, Bill number 53 entitled the Arbiter for Financial Services (Amendment) Act (Chapter 555 of the Laws of Malta) was published among the Government Notices in the Supplement to the Government Gazette. This Bill has reached First Reading stage in Parliament and aims to amend the definitions of “customer” and “eligible customer” so as to enable consumer associations to file complaints before the Arbiter for Financial Services and to bring the Act in line with the provisions of Directive (EU) 2016/97.
A subsequent Bill numbered 54 and entitled the Representative Actions (Consumers) Act was published in the Supplement to the Government Gazette on the 28th of April. This Bill is also at the First Reading stage in Parliament and its scope is to provide for representative actions for the protection of the collective interests of consumers, and to carry out other consequential amendments, as well as to transpose Directive (EU) 2020/1828. To access the Government Gazette Repository, click here.
During the month of May, the MFSA issued a Circular dated 2nd of May addressed to investors of SNS REAAL and SNS Bank bonds and loans in relation to compensation available following the nationalization of the Dutch insurance company and bank, respectively. The MFSA outlines the application procedure involved in the request for such compensation.
Another Circular was subsequently published on the 5th of May in relation to the transition from USD LIBOR (London InterBank Offered Rate) to RFRs (Risk-Free Rates). The MFSA urged market participants to actively make this transition ahead of the expected cessation as at 30th of June and ensure the implementation of USD LIBOR fallbacks, as well as to ensure that contracts and financial instruments reference this transition.
Subsequently, on the 15th of May, the MFSA published a Circular to notify market participants that the ESMA (European Securities and Markets Authority) postponed the Annual IFRS (International Financial Reporting Standards) amendment of the ESEF (European Single Electronic Format) to 2024.
On the 30th of May, the MFSA published a Circular outlining important updates relating to the TUBOR (Trusts Ultimate Beneficial Ownership Regulation), including the automatic generation of details of the trustee, acknowledgement email when a declaration has been processed, notification to the authority of any changes to BO information or new trustee appointments within the legal timeframe and visibility of the ID and UID details on the TUBOR declaration.
The MFSA published a Circular on ECSPR (European Crowdfunding Service Providers for Business Regulation) on the 31st of May addressed to the general public, market participants and Crowdfunding Service Providers. Within this Circular, the MFSA provides updates on ESMA’s (European Securities and Markets Authority) updated Q&A document.
Additionally, during the month of May, the FIAU (Financial Intelligence Analysis Unit) moved to new offices situated in Trident Park, Level 0, No. 5, Triq l-Mdina, Central Business District, Birkirkara, CBD2010.