Aspida Insights

Aspida Insights

Demystifying the New MFSA Circular: Key Changes and Compliance Strategies for CSPs

The Malta Financial Services Authority (MFSA), in its continuous endeavour to refine and enhance the regulatory environment, issued a Circular on the 23rd of January 2024. This Circular marks a significant shift in the regulatory framework for Company Service Providers (CSPs), introducing essential changes to the CSP Rulebook with immediate effect.

Streamlining Regulatory Submissions: A Closer Look at the Changes – Michael Calleja

The primary focus of the Circular is the simplification and streamlining of the regulatory submission process for CSPs. In an effort to reduce the administrative burden and increase efficiency, the MFSA has revised several documentation requirements. For instance, Under Threshold Class A and B CSPs are no longer required to submit a self-declaration to confirm their qualification under the applicable thresholds. This move reflects a broader strategy of the MFSA to integrate vital compliance information into an updated Annual Compliance Return (ACR), as emphasized in the Circular: “As a result of these changes CSPs will no longer be required to submit certain documentation on a standalone basis.”

Furthermore, the requirement for all CSPs to submit a Certificate of Compliance, as previously outlined in Annex 2 of the CSP Rulebook, has been removed. Similarly, individual CSPs, irrespective of class, are exempt from submitting a Statement of Solvency and a balance sheet to the Authority. These changes indicate a shift towards a more consolidated approach to compliance reporting, focusing on the ACR as the primary tool for regulatory submissions.

In addition to these modifications, CSPs constituted as Partnerships have also seen a change in their submission requirements. The revised Rulebook exempts warranted civil partnerships, authorized as Under Threshold Class A CSPs, from submitting Audited Financial Statements. Instead, all other partnerships licensed as CSPs are required to submit an annual income statement, balance sheet, and explanatory notes, which are not required to be audited but must be signed by at least two partners.

Adapting to New Compliance Timelines

The Circular also sets clear expectations regarding the timing of submissions. All CSPs are required to submit the ACR and any other necessary documents annually through the Licence Holder portal. The deadlines for submission are within four (4) months from the financial year-end for legal persons and by the end of April for individual CSPs. The Circular stresses the importance of adhering to these deadlines, explicitly stating, “that it will not be granting any extensions to any of the deadlines emanating from the CSP Rulebook.”

Enhancements to the CSP Rulebook: Beyond Regulatory Submissions

Aside from changes to the regulatory submissions, the CSP Rulebook has undergone updates to address various aspects surfaced during the Authority’s supervisory work. For example, the time frame for evaluating internal controls has been revised from every six months to an annual basis. Additionally, the process for the voluntary cancellation of a CSP authorization has been clarified to address practicalities encountered in handling such requests. An important update in the Rulebook concerns the notification requirements for Class A and C CSPs. Specifically, the Rulebook now mandates these CSPs to notify the Authority if they intend to use an address different from the CSP’s registered office for providing registered office, business correspondence, or administrative address services to their clients.

Navigating the New Regulatory Framework with Aspida.

Aspida – Malta, a leading consultancy firm specializing in Governance, Risk, and Compliance, is at the forefront of adapting to the latest developments in the regulatory landscape. With the MFSA’s recent Circular marking a significant evolution in the regulatory regime for CSPs our team is dedicated to guiding and supporting CSPs through these transformative changes. By drawing on the latest regulatory guidance notes and industry best practices, Aspida ensures that your organization not only remains ahead of the curve but is also safeguarded against potential risks and fully compliant with all regulatory obligations. In today’s challenging regulatory environment, partnering with Aspida empowers your business with the expertise and insights needed to thrive.

As the industry navigates this new regulatory framework, Aspida’s commitment to providing expert guidance and support for seamless compliance is unwavering. We strongly encourage all CSPs to familiarize themselves with these critical updates and to leverage Aspida’s resources to maintain adherence to the highest standards of regulatory compliance. For further information or assistance, CSPs are invited to reach out to Aspida’s team of compliance experts, who are well-equipped to assist in ensuring your business’s ongoing compliance and success.

For a discussion on options available to facilitate your requirements, please contact enquiries@aspidagroup.com in the first instance.

Mastering Compliance: Navigating Risks & Regulatory Returns with Aspida’s Expertise

Michael Calleja | Senior Compliance Services Executive | Malta As we find ourselves in that pivotal time of year where subject persons traditionally undertake the ...
Read More »

The Intricacies of Sanctions: A Legal Perspective

Michael Calleja | Senior Compliance Services Executive | Malta Introduction Sanctions serve as a pivotal instrument in the international legal arsenal, utilized by nations and ...
Read More »

Navigating Compliance: Insights from the FIAU’s 2021/2022 Enforcement Factsheet

On the 15th of January 2024, the Financial Intelligence Analysis Unit (FIAU) released a pivotal document titled ‘Enforcement Factsheet: A Compilation of Regulatory Actions – ...
Read More »

Unveiling Unconscious Bias: Artificial Intelligence (“AI”) and the Nuances of Board Meeting Minutes  

Lezanne Kretschmer, Head of Company Secretarial Services at Aspida Group, reflects on one of the key aspects to consider and be vigilant of, when making ...
Read More »

Your partner in protecting and growing your business

Subscribe to receive our latest news, views and event information

Scroll to Top