On 21 October, the MFSA held a Strategy Briefing with over 300 industry stakeholders attending the event and participating in a discussion on the future of financial supervision.
In his introductory address, the MFSA Chairman Professor John Mamo welcomed President Felix Hufeld and Deputy President Elisabeth Roegele of the German Federal Financial Supervisory Authority (BaFin), who were amongst the speakers. He noted that “There is, of course, no comparison between the size and extent of the responsibilities of BaFin and those of the MFSA. Yet, in spite of this disparity in size, both BaFin and the MFSA have the same vocation, responsibilities and aspirations within the EU financial services sector.”
During his speech, MFSA CEO Joseph Cuschieri shared highlights from the Strategic Plan, the Authority’s roadmap which defines the specific programmes and actions planned for 2019-2021. These include a substantial investment in human resources and cutting-edge technologies, as well as capacity building. Mr Cuschieri also explained that the plan delves into how the MFSA is raising supervisory standards in governance, conduct, cybersecurity, innovation but also in AML/CFT supervision.
Commenting on how the MFSA is future-proofing financial supervision, Mr Cuschieri said, “The MFSA’s Strategic Plan reflects both the ambitions of the Authority to strengthen itself as it prepares for the next generation of financial services, as well as the aspirations of financial services stakeholders who shared their ideas and the challenges they face when operating in the Maltese financial sector. “
During his intervention, the President of the German Regulator, BaFin, mentioned that supervisors and the entities which are supervised are being challenged by a variety of fundamental trends, such as low or negative interest rates, the emergence and ever-growing presence of the European ideal, and the digital transformation. He continued by saying that, “A powerful supervisor that intends to continue successfully fulfilling its mandate of safeguarding financial stability must become more digital, faster, more European, and global, and more networked. The MFSA and BaFin have a distinct advantage here: both of them are integrated authorities.”
The event also featured a discussion panel moderated by Michael Xuereb, Senior Advisor to the CEO at the MFSA, with the participation of BaFin’s Vice President and MFSA’s Chief Officer Strategy, Policy and Innovation Christopher P. Buttigieg. The panel session focused on the regulatory fragmentation between one jurisdiction and another, including different models for supervising key areas, such as anti-money laundering. The panel speakers discussed ways of fostering a mutual understanding of one another’s legislative frameworks, deepening existing regulatory and supervisory cooperation, whilst considering whether further supervisory convergence remains a necessity.
In line with its Vision 2021, the MFSA is planning to organise further industry briefings and more sector-specific workshops in the coming year, in efforts to engage even more with its licence holders and other practitioners on a regular basis and update them with the latest developments on financial services supervision and regulation.