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Annual Compliance Return – Circular addressed to companies and Individuals authorised to act as CSPin terms of the CSP Act

On 11 March 2022, the MFSA issued a circular reminding CSPs of their obligation to submit the ACR on an annual basis as part of the regulatory submissions obligations. In this regard, the Authority has updated the ACR template for the 2022 submissions (covering financial period 2021). CSPs are reminded that if the field for the response restricts answers using drop-down menus or validations (such as requiring that responses be strictly in numerical format), answers are to be written according to the set specification.

Furthermore, CSPs which are classified as over threshold Class A, over threshold Class B and Class C are required to submit audited financial statements together with the auditor’s management letter and the auditor’s report together with all supporting documents outlined in the ACR, in order for such submission to be deemed complete. The above documents are to be submitted through the LH Portal.

For further information and to download the updated ACR, reference should be made to the circular on the MFSA’s website;

https://www.mfsa.mt/wp-content/uploads/2022/03/Circular-Addressed-to-Companies-and-Individuals-Authorised-to-Act-as-Company-Service-Providers-in-terms-of-the-Company-Service-Providers-Act.pdf

 

Annual Compliance Return -Circular Addressed to companies authorised to sct as Trustees of Family Trusts

On 11 March 2022, the MFSA issued a circular addressing firms which are authorised to act as Trustees of Family Trusts to to submit the ACR on an annual basis as part of their obligations relating to regulatory submissions. In this regard, such Administrators may complete the same return template submitted for 2021 (covering the financial period 2020), as no changes to the template have been made.

Trustees of Family Trusts are further reminded of their obligation to submit management accounts and a full set of Financial Statements for body corporates and all supporting documents outlined in the ACR together with said return in order for the submission to be deemed complete.

For further information and to download the ACR, reference should be made to the circular on the MFSA’s website;

https://www.mfsa.mt/wp-content/uploads/2022/03/Circular-Addressed-to-Companies-and-Individuals-Authorised-to-Act-as-Administrators-of-Private-Foundations-in-terms-of-Article-4312b-of-the-Trusts-and-Trustees-Act.pdf

 

Exercising Caution in Times of Heightened Cyber Threat

On 17 March 2022, the MFSA issued a circular to remind Authorised Persons about their expectation to conduct proper situational awareness and regularly assess their exposures to developing ICT and cybersecurity threats, whilst taking timely measures to address them. To this end, the Authority expects the Board of Directors to ensure that ICT and cybersecurity risks are adequately being discussed, that clear roles and responsibilities are set and that ICT and cybersecurity risks are being managed.

Furthermore, authorised persons are expected to continue to follow developments from reputable sources, revisit and re-assess their ICT and security risks (including third party risks) taking into consideration emerging threats and vulnerabilities, and ensure that they have business continuity and disaster recovery plans in place that address severe but plausible scenarios.

For further information, reference should be made to the circular on the MFSA’s website;

https://www.mfsa.mt/wp-content/uploads/2022/03/Exercising-Caution-in-Times-of-Heightened-Cyber-Threat.pdf

 

Re-Issuance of CSP License Certificates

On 21 March 2022, the Authority issued a Circular informing CSPs that, in view of the recent changes to the CSP Act, CSP’s have been contacted by the Authority in relation to their class classification under the new CSP Regime. Following such classification process, the MFSA will be collecting the current registration certificates for cancellation and re-issuance. Upon receipt of the registration certificates currently in possession of such CSPs, the Authority will issue their new authorisation certificate and related annex, which will make reference to the Class of Authorisation that had already been communicated to the CSPs.

CSPs are reminded that they are to submit the requested documentation to the attention of the Head of Conduct Supervision within the timeframes set out in the circular.

For further information, reference should be made to the circular on the MFSA’s website;

https://www.mfsa.mt/wp-content/uploads/2022/03/Re-Issuance-of-Company-Service-Providers-Licence-Certificates.pdf

 

Guidance on the Submission of Applications for Extension of Authorisation

On 22 March 2022, the Authority issued a circular informing authorised persons that it is making changes to the manner in which authorised persons are to submit an application for conversion and/or extension of their authorisation. In view of these changes, authorised persons will be able to submit an application, including relevant supporting documentation pertaining to the application, directly through the LH Portal by selecting the ‘Application for Authorisation’ option.

For further information, reference should be made to the circular on the MFSA’s website;

https://www.mfsa.mt/wp-content/uploads/2022/03/Guidance-on-the-Submission-of-Applications-for-Authorisation-old-format-Conversion-and-or-Extension-of-Authorisation.pdf

 

ESMA Coordinates Regulatory response to the War in Ukraine and its Impact on EU Financial Markets

ESMA, in coordination with National Competent Authorities (“NCAs”) has issued a statement setting out its work in coordinating a regulatory response to the tragic consequences of Russia’s military aggression on EU financial markets. To this effect, on 22 March 2022, the MFSA issued a circular reminding financial market participants that they should comply with the relevant EU sanctions and monitor any further restrictions.

Furthermore, ESMA has issued guidance and updated the status of Russian trading venues as “Inactive”. Such status is normally used to identify trading venues which have ceased their operations.

For further information, reference should be made to the circular on the MFSA’s website;

https://www.mfsa.mt/wp-content/uploads/2022/03/ESMA-Coordinates-Regulatory-Response-to-the-War-in-Ukraine-and-its-Impact-on-EU-Financial-Markets.pdf

 

Amendments to the Investment Services Rulebooks (“ISRs”)

On 29 March 2022, the Authority published a Circular communicating to the industry several amendments conducted to the ISRs. The relevant amendments relate to the following:

  • amendments to the Transparency provisions in the ISRs to elaborate on the suitable channels Licence Holders may use to disclose information required under Shareholder Rights Directive (“SRDII”);
  • additional whistle-blower protection provisions on the reporting of infringements by employees;
  • updated cross-references to ISR’s for Investment Service Providers which qualify as UCITS Management Companies in Part BI; and
  • other miscellaneous amendments relating to own funds and capital requirements and removal of obsolete provisions.

For further information, reference should be made to the circular on the MFSA’s website;

https://www.mfsa.mt/wp-content/uploads/2022/03/Amendments-to-the-Investment-Services-Rulebooks.pdf

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