The Malta Financial Services Authority (MFSA), in an outreach message to Corporate Service Providers (CSPs), said that it has started receiving applications for CSP authorisations, and issued a reminder that the timeframe for applications closes on 16th May.
As part of sweeping reforms to the CSP profession, warranted professionals providing such services to third parties, “by way of business*”, will be required to apply for MFSA authorisation. The reform also introduces three classes of CSPs as well as a change from registration to authorisation for all CSPs, including those already in possession of a Certificate of Registration.
All applications (under and over-threshold) will be authorised, declined or provisionally authorised by 16th November 2021.
Provisionally authorised CSPs are to comply with the provisions of the CSP Act until 16th November 2022 or until such time as their application is approved or declined, whichever is the earlier.
Corporate service providers can only continue to operate under the transitional arrangements if they would have applied for CSP authorisation by 16th May, the MFSA stressed.
On Thursday, it met virtually with over 500 CSPs as part of its efforts to support the industry by providing a comprehensive overview of the CSP reform and its implementation, as well as to facilitate the new authorisation process.
Emily Benson, Head of Compliance Supervision, said the aim of the CSP reform is three-fold: to ensure fit and proper standards, to be assured that CSPs adhere to applicable legal and AML/CFT requirements on an ongoing basis and to apply a risk-based and proportionate regulatory approach.
“The CSP reform will place Malta at the forefront of good international practice, protecting the integrity of the financial system and the broader economy from undesired and illegal activity.”
Jessica Agius, Analyst, briefed participants about the CSP legislative framework which is well-supplemented with Exemption Regulations, Fees Regulations, Rules, Guidance Notes and Application Procedures to support the sector in understanding its regulatory obligations under the new CSP regime.
Alison Cortis, Senior Technical Expert and Petra Camilleri, Senior Manager, led a Q&A session where they addressed questions asked by the participants.
The Authority has also published guidance on the application of the CSP Act and Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) which can be accessed through the dedicated CSP page on the MFSA’s website.
*The MFSA has issued a Guidance Note on the application of the phrase “by way of business” in terms of the Company Services Providers Act, Chapter 529 of the Laws of Malta).
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