New website for consumers of financial services products
The Consumer Complaints Unit at the Malta Financial Services Authority has just launched a new website for consumers of financial products and services.
"Mymoneybox", as the website has been branded, has one aim: that of providing impartial information to consumers about financial products and services.
Geoffrey Bezzina, Consumer Complaints Manager at MFSA, said: "Mymoneybox is definitely more informative and aims at consolidating all the information which has been imparted to consumers since the creation of the Unit of the Consumer Complaints Manager. It is also more user-friendly and provides the consumer with interactive tools through which he/she may learn about his/her rights."
The website provides comprehensive information on issues relating to banking, investments and insurance. This information is updated regularly to keep financial services consumers abreast on their rights and responsibilities, such as those arising from the Payment Services Directive which came into force on November 1, 2009.
Furthermore, consumers have also been provided with two new facilities namely that of a budget calculator and a net worth calculator. More calculators will be added in due course.
The on-line survey of tariffs and charges of a number of financial products and services offered in Malta has also been enhanced. Consumers can now compare tariffs of any four financial entities in respect of the product/service selected.
The list of tariffs and charges on mymoneybox is also updated regularly.
Mymoneybox also contains information about lodging a complaint with MFSA against a financial service provider in Malta. Consumers are invited to visit http://mymoneybox.mfsa.com.mt and browse through the wealth of information being provided.
Circular on UCITS issued
The MFSA has issued a circular to brief the financial services industry on the developments concerning UCITS IV. The circular provides a brief overview of the principal elements of the Key Investor Information (KII) together with information of CESR's advice on KII. The KII is set to replace the currently required Simplified Prospectus for all UCITS Schemes with a view to assisting the investor by improving transparency and comparability through a short and standardised fact sheet which will be prepared in non-technical language.
The circular also provides an outline on how the Authority plans to transpose the requirements on the KII. In this regard, the industry is being consulted on the new rules which the MFSA intends to adopt in order to transpose the relevant articles in UCITS IV which set the requirements relating to the KII. The MFSA is inviting comments on the proposed amendments and additions to the Investment Services Rules for Retail Collective Investment Schemes by not later than December 31, 2009.
New set-up at MFSA
The new set-up at MFSA announced in the previous months will come into effect as from January 1, 2010. The Authorisations Unit will be handling licensing of all financial services entities. The Regulatory Development Unit will be responsible for the implementation of cross-sectoral policies and product development. Three specialist supervision Units namely i) Banking; ii) Insurance and Occupational Pensions and iii) Securities and Markets will be handling all supervisory functions. The Securities and Markets Supervisory Unit will cover investment services, collective investment schemes, fund management and related operations, listings, prospectuses and general oversight of financial markets. Supervision of trustees will also fall under responsibility of this unit.
These improvements are expected to enhance the effectiveness of the MFSA to face the challenges and opportunities of the sector in the 21st century and secure Malta's position as a well-regulated, flexible and competitive jurisdiction for international financial services.
Guidelines on redomiciliation of offshore funds to Malta published - Available on www.mfsa.com.mt
The MFSA has published guidelines on redomiciliation of offshore funds to Malta. These guidelines together with the Companies Act, Continuation of Companies Regulations, 2002 are available for download from the MFSA website [www.mfsa. com.mt] from the securities section/guides to regulation.
Malta should remain the jurisdiction of choice as the regime allows funds to have external administrators and custodians in contrast to other jurisdictions which require the administrators and the custodians to be present in the domicile.
This allows the necessary flexibility when redomiciling funds to Malta.