The Malta Financial Services Authority has published a consultation document proposing more onerous regulations for company service providers, reports MaltaToday.

Under proposed new rules, “lawyers, accountants, and notaries providing assistance to financial services firms will have to register with the Malta Financial Services Authority”.

The proposal was part of a consultation document that the Regulator released on Tuesday, October 22nd. Its primary objective, according to MaltaToday, is “to ensure a more robust first line of defence against problematic operators“.

Additionally, the regulator is proposing a three-tier classification for company service providers to define what specific services each provider will be allowed to offer. This would be a completely new approach for the country, where to date lawyers and accountants acting on behalf of a client were not required to obtain any form of authorisation from the MFSA.

Last but not least, the new proposals also include the requirement that individuals wishing to be authorised as Company Service Providers (CSP) do so as a company. The MFSA said that “this is a necessity given the onerous requirements related to controls and effective financial crime compliance, and other regulatory pressures”.

This represents an important first step towards stronger protection against money laundering and financing of terrorism for Corporate Service Providers in Malta. At Know Your Customer, we look forward to following the evolution of the new proposal throughout its legislative journey.

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