In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Malta Financial Services Authority (MFSA) has issued guidance to consumers in order to safeguard their interests.
In view of the social distancing guidelines issued by the Maltese Health Authorities, the MFSA has encouraged customers to make use of internet and mobile banking services, whilst also keeping in mind the security measures that should be taken when using such services.
Considering the fast rate at which the current situation is developing, the MFSA urged consumers who are considering either investing, buying or selling investments to be cautious as to what information they rely on, since it is possible that such information would become outdated overnight, and forecasts may be unreliable.Particularly, the MFSA outlined that any communication that claims to be promoting investment based on medical or scientific solutions to the crisis, cures or vaccines, should similarly be addressed with extreme caution. More importantly, the MFSA reminded the public that the value of investments may increase as well as decrease, and that past performance is not an indication of future performance.
In this circular, the MFSA addressed two types of policies which are at the core of the outbreak of COVID-19:
- 1. Policies which cover Medical Conditions: the MFSA has confirmed that claims arising out of treatment for COVID-19 should be covered insofar as it falls within the limits established by the policy for such cover.
- 2. Travel Policies: consumers may need to recover costs of cancellation of holidays, flights or other arrangements from their travel agents or any other person with whom the arrangements were made prior to making a claim under the insurance policy.
During such extraordinary times, the public is urged to be cautious of any scams or fraudulent schemes that are trying to benefit from the outbreak of COVID-19. Caution should be taken particularly in relation to social media adverts relating to, for instance, investments for the development of cures, requesting donations or promoting medical and health insurance policies.
The full circular relating to the above may be accessed through the following link: https://www.mfsa.mt/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/IMPORTANT-INFORMATION-REGARDING-COVID-19.pdf
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