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Global Competitiveness Report 2008 – 2009
Malta’s growth as an international player 

The present global financial crisis has highlighted the critical importance of financial markets in any economy. An efficient financial sector is necessary to allocate the resources to their most productive uses.

The Financial Services sector in Malta has grown steadily under a well regulated system. The Malta Financial Services Authority (MFSA) is the single regulator for financial services activities in Malta. It regulates and supervises credit and financial institutions, investment, trust and insurance business and also houses the country's Companies Registry. The MFSA issues guidance notes, monitors local and international developments, works with relevant parties on legislative matters, and plays a major role in training financial service providers. Malta’s well regulated environment has helped boost investor confidence in the local market in light of current international financial crises.

The World Economic Forum Global Competitiveness report has ranked Malta’s banking system 10th soundest in the world largely due to the well regulated system in place scoring of 6.6 out of a maximum of seven. Malta has also been ranked 18th scoring a mark of 5.4 in financial market sophistication. This backs up government's assurances that local banks are on a sound footing. Mr Fenech, Minister of Finance, told Parliament that the local banks held liquidity levels well in access of regulatory requirements. Local banks were noted to be extra careful over where they invested and have steadily built up their liquidity reserves as far back as the collapse of Northern Rock Bank in the UK.

IMF have previously assessed the Maltese banks and found they had a low risk of direct contagion because of strong domestic franchises. Domestic banks had liquid assets that were well above the 30 percent prudential requirement.
The minister said that no intervention whatsoever was needed for any Maltese bank as their base was on local deposits. Locally defaulters on loans are low when compared to international averages. Local banks were not involved in inter-banking activity with foreign banks due to the strong local domestic deposit base.


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