Swissquote has obtained an upward revision of its license with the Malta Financial Services Authority (MFSA). The Maltese financial services regulatory authority has announced today that it had raised the rank of the license of Swissquote Financial Services Malta Limited from Category 3 to Category 4A.
This regulatory decision marks an important reinforcement to the services that Swissquote can provide in Malta. According to the country’s Investment Sevices Act, holders of Category 4A licenses are “authorized to act as trustees or custodians of collective investment schemes.” Before the change, the Category 3 license allowed the company to “provide any Investment Service and to hold and control clients’ money or customers’ assets”.
The potential foray by Swissquote’s Maltese arm into being able to offer collective investment schemes is being undertaken at a time when the market for such investments is rapidly increasing in the European island nation. In a recent publication, FTSE Global Markets quoted data showing that last year the MFSA licensed 135 collective investment schemes, marking a slight increase over the preceding year. Moreover, 80% of the direct foreign investment in the country has consisted of activity within the financial services sector. The infrastructure for fund management in Malta has also seen substantial improvement.
Perhaps a matter of future interest would be the result of the combination of Malta’s favorable business climate, coupled with Swissquote’s ambitions for growth. The Swiss company opened its branch in Malta in November 2012, at which time it had five employees stationed at that particular office. The Maltese office was the second office abroad Swissquote opened, after the one in Dubai.
The company has grown markedly since, with one of the most important moves in terms of expansion being last year’s acquisition of compatriot MIG Bank for the lump sum of nearly $70 million. As a result of the deal, Swissquote boasts an international business empire, with offices in Gland, Zürich, Bern, Dubai, Malta, London and Hong Kong.
Subsequently, Swissquote has been keen to clinch business partnerships, with the most recent example of such a strategic collaboration having come to fruition in May 2014 when Swissquote partnered with PostFinance, Switzerland’s largest online bank.