MFSA issues further guidance on the overhaul of the licensing and authorisation process

The Malta Financial Services Authority (“MFSA”) has just issued a circular providing more information in relation to the overhaul of the licensing and application process. Indeed, pursuant to the Press Release issued by the MFSA on the 14th February 2020 declaring a number of organisational changes and senior leadership team appointments, including the overhaul of the authorisation function, the MFSA is currently in the process of merging sectoral authorisations into their respective supervisory functions. This measure is intended to ensure consistency in the regulatory approach and more effective supervisory process throughout the development of authorised firms falling within the supervision of the MFSA.
Processing of applications
The MFSA reiterates that the staff processing applications remain the main point of contact and they shall be in regular direct contact with applicants and their advisers regarding the status of their application.
Appointment of Front-End Relationship Manager
In addition to the above, the MFSA has also appointed a centralised contact to act as a Front-End Relationship Manager within the Communications function and who may also be contacted for updates and/or requests for information regarding ongoing applications.
Authorisation Process: Service Charter
As previously stated in the Press Release, the MFSA also aims to publish an Authorisation Process: Service Charter (the “Charter”). This Charter is designed to provide guidance on application processing, to set out the MFSA’s expected regulatory standards and defining the MFSA’s timeframe commitments for the processing of certain types of applications submitted. The MFSA notes that in view of recent exceptional developments, the publication of the Charter has been postponed from the end of this quarter to a later date.
The MFSA shall also be affecting a number of changes aimed at streamlining the authorisation process of certain applications and separate communications are planned to be issued in this regard.
Please feel free to contact us if you require any further information in relation to the MFSA’s authorisation process.