BREXIT – the EU Passport Opportunity for Malta
BREXIT – Britain’s momentous decision to leave the European Union has put into question what rights will British nationals and companies located in Britain have in relation to the European market? In particular, there is doubt whether the passporting rights pursuant to European directives will continue to apply.
Following Brexit, Malta offers a number of advantages to individuals and companies looking for a secure and stable entry point into the European market.
Malta, a full EU member, has transposed all applicable EU directives into its domestic law, particularly in relation to the financial services sector, covering such areas as Funds, Investment Services, Pensions etc.
Added to which, Malta’s long term, special relationship with the UK, provides UK located individuals and businesses comfort in the face of the forthcoming Brexit changes.
- Full EU member
- Malta’s long standing special relationship with England – the Maltese and British Governments are currently in talks to discuss bilateral arrangements
- English is an official language
- Malta’s corporate and commercial laws are based on English law and EU directives
- EU and OECD recognised and compliant jurisdiction
- EU financial services directives fully implemented
- Tax and fiscal advantages – 5% effective corporate tax rate, reduced from 35% after application of tax refunds
- Currency – Euro
- Single, accessible regulator – Malta Financial Services Authority
- Certain financial services sectors, such as funds, can achieve 0% tax on income and distribution
- Highly Qualified Persons Programme – 15% income tax cap on certain employees within financial services sector
- Multilingual, knowledgeable workforce
- Excellent communications infrastructure
What is ‘Passporting’?
Passporting is the exercise of the right (known as a single market passport, or single licence), available to a firm authorised under one of the EU single market directives to carry on activities in another EEA member state, on the basis of its home state authorisation. The activities can be conducted through a branch in the host member state (the right of establishment) or on a cross-border services basis without using an establishment in the host state (a services passport).
Single market directives
The single market directives are currently:
- The Alternative Investment Fund Managers Directive (2011/61/EU) (AIFMD)
- The CRD IV Directive (2013/36/EU), which repealed and recast the Banking Consolidation Directive (2006/48/EC) (BCD)
- The Insurance Mediation Directive (2002/92/EC) (IMD)
- The Markets in Financial Instruments Directive (2004/39/EC) (MiFID).
- Mortgage Credit Directive (2014/17/EU) (MCD)
- The Solvency II Directive (2009/138/EC), which repealed and recast the First Non-life Insurance Directive (73/239/EEC), Second Non-life Insurance Directive (88/357/EEC), Third Non-life Insurance Directive (92/49/EEC), Life Assurance Consolidation Directive (2002/83/EC) and the Reinsurance Directive (2005/68/EC)
- The UCITS IV Directive (2009/65/EC), which repealed and recast the original UCITS Directive (85/611/EEC)
Which types of firms does Passporting apply to?
- Alternative investment fund managers (AIFMs) under the AIFMD
- Credit institutions (that is, banks and building societies) under the CRD IV Directive, as well as unauthorised subsidiaries of credit institutions (referred to in the CRD IV Directive as financial institutions) that fulfil certain criteria
- Insurance undertakings and reinsurance undertakings under the Solvency II Directive
- Insurance intermediaries under the IMD
- Investment firms under MiFID
- Management companies under the UCITS IV Directive.
- Mortgage intermediaries under the MCD
Financial Services, Insurance, Funds, Malta Trading Companies & Holding Companies, Highly Qualified Persons Programme
About Acumum – Legal & Advisory
Acumum Legal & Advisory is a well-established set of multidisciplinary legal, tax and accounting firms located and managed in the tax efficient EU jurisdiction of Malta. It operates as a full service law firm with services including aviation, corporate formation, accounting, estate & wealth planning, taxation, intellectual property and more. The firm is overseen by Geraldine Noel, a British barrister – registered in Malta, working alongside an expert team of lawyers and accountants with extensive specialist commercial and private client expertise, particularly to an individual, corporate and family office clientèle.