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Companies registry to detach from MFSA in few months

Employees up in arms on move to Żejtun site

The new premises in Żejtun earmarked to host the new Registry of Companies Agency.

The new premises in Żejtun earmarked to host the new Registry of Companies Agency.

Employees at the MFSA’s Registry of Companies are up in arms over a government decision to transfer them to new premises in Żejtun as the department will be turned into an independent agency, detached from the financial regulator.

MFSA sources told Times of Malta that registry employees were complaining that the premises selected “is absolutely not suitable for such an important function as it is away from any hub of business activity on the island”.

Times of Malta is informed that the premises, which are still not finished, were built to serve as a bathrooms showroom. However, following a call for an expression of interest issued by the MFSA and the Registry of Companies, it has been identified as the location for the island’s registry of companies.

Questioned on how the premises in Vjal il-Labour, Żejtun, had been identified as suitable premises and how much the government will be paying in lease every year, a spokesman for the Registry of Companies did not enter into any details.

Confirming that the selected premises “are not in a finished state and are only expected to be occupied “in a few months’ time”, the spokesman said that an evaluation committee had been set up to select the right premises.

READ: 30 per cent of companies miss deadline to submit audited accounts

The spokesman did not reply when asked to give details on the contract, particularly the price of the annual lease.

The property is to serve as the agency’s premises is owned by Alex Mercieca Bathrooms, sources said.

“We have been complaining with the management on this move for a long time as for us it is obvious that the registry should be placed somewhere central, close to a business hub and not in Żejtun”, a senior MFSA employee said. 

“All excuses have been found to convince us otherwise. We have now turned the issue into an internal joke asking each other if any orders for new bathrooms have been taken during the day,” another disgruntled employee said.

Confirming the move, a spokesman for the MFSA said that the Registry of Companies was never part of the MFSA but only housed within the same premises.

“The model of having the two combined is not at all common in other jurisdictions and given the growth experienced by both the MFSA and the Registry of Companies, this model is no longer practical,” the spokesman said.

He added that following a unanimous approval by both sides of Parliament, the Registry of Companies Agency will now be set up “as a separate and autonomous entity”.

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