MFSA and FIAU consultation document to ensure more clarity vis-a-vis the opening of accounts

In light of the money laundering and financial terrorism risks which technological innovation may bring about within the financial services sector, the Malta Financial Services Authority and the Financial Intelligence Analysis Unit have taken steps to ensure more clarity vis-a-vis the opening of accounts.

To this end, the MFSA and FIAU have jointly published a Consultation Document on Guidance For Credit Institutions, Payment Providers and Electronic Money Institutions which have the capacity to open accounts for persons utilising financial technology.

With this document, institutions can acquire a better risk understanding of prospective customers who are active in technology reliant areas, prior to servicing them.  It also details the information which institutions should be requesting from operators to determine their regulatory status and gain comprehensive knowledge on their activities.

On the other hand, securing a bank account is crucial for companies setting up operations in our jurisdiction. With this in mind, this guidance document is also designed to assist companies operating in the fields of financial technology (FinTech), artificial intelligence, distributed ledger technology, the internet of things and cloud technologies in their application for a bank account.

The publication of this consultation document is part of a wider effort being carried out by the Maltese financial services jurisdiction to develop and regulate the FinTech industry. Within this framework, the MFSA is continuously seeking to create an innovation-friendly environment, whilst ensuring effective investor protection and safeguarding the integrity and stability of the financial market.

This consultation is open to the public until the 30th April 2019. Industry participants and interested parties are invited to send their responses via email to fintech@mfsa.com.mt.

The consultation document is available on the MFSA website.