FinanceMalta’s 13th annual conference themed ‘Innovation in Financial Services: Gearing up for the New Post-COVID-19 Era’ was held successfully over three afternoons between October 13 and 15.

The conference was a first of its kind, given it was a hybrid event with proceedings taking place at a conference venue in Malta while being connected via video to other contributors, panellists and facilitators in Malta and across the world.

The conference was relayed live through a web-event platform that also ensured networking and interaction between the over 300 registered participants.

The event brought together over 35 high-calibre speakers from various sectors of the financial services industry. All stakeholders were represented, including the country’s authorities, regulators, foreign and local experts, practitioners, lawyers, enforcement entities and the media.

The topics covered during the three afternoons included Malta’s vision for the financial services industry; Moneyval and AML; Malta’s efforts in upgrading its regulatory, supervisory and enforcement resources to ensure a robust and healthy financial services sector; sustainable finance; developments in the European and Maltese tax environment; innovation in the sector; as well as a focus on asset management and insurance.

Entrepreneur, philanthropist and former New York mayor Michael Bloomberg speaking during the conference.Entrepreneur, philanthropist and former New York mayor Michael Bloomberg speaking during the conference.

Rudolph Psaila, chairman of FinanceMalta, said: “We are overwhelmed and humbled by the positive feedback received, which gives us more energy to keep on being innovative and reach new heights. All this could only be achieved thanks to all our sponsors, as well as the great quality moderators, panellists, speakers and all participants who joined us throughout the three-day event. A special thanks go to the team at FinanceMalta for their dedication and support.”

Psaila said that the annual conference confirmed once again that all stakeholders share the same goal to continue fighting financial crime and “make Malta’s financial system a hostile place for criminals to do business in”.

“This is a priority for all of us, not just to pass the Moneyval test but to continue attracting reputable companies to Malta. It is important that practitioners, regulators, authorities and other stakeholders work together to achieve an effective, proportionate and fair regime that works for us all with the ultimate aim of improving the jurisdiction’s offering as a centre of excellence in financial services,” he said in his closing speech.

Psaila added that, as a country, Malta needs to continue focusing on innovation – and innovation cannot be achieved without digitalisation: “To steer the course on this journey, we have to embrace change and such transformation starts with people. We must transform ourselves to attract sustainable investment, remain competitive and better serve the market and our communities. It’s an ambitious task but one which we can all achieve together.”

The chairman of FinanceMalta concluded by underscoring the importance of legislation: “We need to keep on developing a policy framework to enable innovation to thrive while maintaining a level playing field for all stakeholders within the sector.”

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