The Malta Financial Services Authority (MFSA) has updated its due diligence procedures for assessing the fitness and properness of individuals wanting to operate in Malta’s financial sector. The twenty-two-page document, titled “Guidance on the fitness and properness assessments applied by the authority”, highlights four main pillars on which the MFSA’s fit and proper assessments shall be based upon. These are competence, reputation, solvency, conflicts of interest and independence of mind, and time commitment.
One of the most notable introductions is the reputation criteria. When carrying out its assessment, the MFSA will keep into consideration if the applicant:
- is in possession of a good reputation, character, reliability, and honesty;
- has a clear criminal record;
- has not been disqualified by any professional or regulatory body;
- has never been subject to any civil suit;
- doesn’t have a tainted regulatory performance record with the MFSA or any other competent authority in Malta or abroad;
- has not been publicly criticised with respect to matters relating to the financial services sector;
- has never been made to resign from any past employment or had been dismissed therefrom.
The publishing of these guidelines follows last week’s announcement by the MFSA of the establishment of a new internal Financial Crime Compliance team, to strengthen supervision and compliance in the fight against financial crime.