The Malta Financial Services Authority (MFSA) is pondering a raise in the authorisation and supervisory fees it charges the financial industry, the regulator's head said.
The added revenue would be used to ensure the regulator becomes financially independent, MFSA's president Joe Cischieri said at the FinanceMalta conference, local news outlet Times of Malta reports.
Under international best practices, regulators should be financially independent but the MFSA currently relies on government funding.
We have a vision to establish Malta as an international fintech hub and are currently assessing viable solutions to foster fintech and to nurture innovation"
The watchdog wants to bolster its supervisory engagement, planning a €10m investment in technology and human resources between 2019 and 2022. This should allow the MFSA to improve the automation of authorisation and supervisory processes.
"We have a vision to establish Malta as an international fintech hub and are currently assessing viable solutions to foster fintech and to nurture innovation, particularly with respect to the implementation of a regulatory sandbox and an innovation hub," he said at Portomaso.
At the conference, the regulator also heard criticism regarding regulatory oversight.
"Something has to give. Regulators cannot expect operators to invest in innovation while piling on obligations," Louis Degabriele, partner at Camilleri Preziosi Advocates, said.
The MFSA said it is setting up a Financial Services Stakeholder Panel as a forum where industry participants could discuss matters falling under the authority's remit.