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    MFSA Issues Regulatory and Reporting Updates for Banks

    February 25, 2022

    The Malta Financial Services Authority (MFSA) proposed the corporate governance code, issued a circular on reporting requirements for banks, and revised the Banking Rule BR/23 on reporting and disclosure of exposures subject to COVID-19 regulatory measures.

    Below are the key highlights of these regulatory developments:

    • The proposed Corporate Governance Code, which is open to feedback until March 22, 2022, is intended to set out best practices in corporate governance for Malta’s financial services sector and encourage their adoption by all authorized entities. The Code is intended to improve relationships between authorized entities and their stakeholders, ensure effective functioning of authorized entities’ Boards, and to ensure that Boards exercise adequate oversight of executive management, Boards have an adequate understanding of risk, firms maintain high standards of corporate and compliance culture, and firms have adequate internal controls. The Code is also intended to support authorized entities to implement improved governance standards to achieve enhanced resilience and sustainable operations and to encourage authorized entities to integrate sustainable, environmental, and social aspects in their business strategy.
    • The Circular on reporting requirements covers the implementation of additional data quality controls on supervisory reporting submissions, referred to as EGDQ checks. The European Central Bank (ECB) notified MFSA that it has implemented a subset of the EGDQ validation checks in its data processing and validation system, known as SUBA. The change has been implemented as of February 15, 2022. Thus, the supervisory reporting submissions and resubmissions made after this date through the LH Portal, which will subsequently and automatically be forwarded to SUBA, will be assessed and validated against this set of EGDQ checks on reception. Credit institutions are also being informed that ECB plans to phase-in additional data quality controls in SUBA over the course of this year.
    • The revised version of Banking Rule BR/23 on reporting and disclosure of exposures subject to measures applied in response to the COVID-19 crisis. The Rule has been revised to fully align MFSA's proportionality measures with those stipulated in the European Banking Authority (EBA) guidelines (EBA/GL/2020/07) on reporting and disclosure of exposures subject to measures applied in response to the COVID-19 crisis (issued in June 2020). Following a clarification from EBA in its report on the implementation of selected COVID-19 policies, paragraph 21(a) of the Rule has been amended to allow the granting of waiver on individual reporting, also to stand-alone institutions not reporting information on a consolidated basis. Credit institutions are reminded that waivers can only be granted by MFSA, and that these are communicated bilaterally. The amendment of the Rule does not automatically result in the application of any waivers.

     

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    Keywords: Europe, Malta, Banking, Governance, Reporting, Banking Rule, Covid-19, LH Portal, SUBA, Credit Risk, ECB, EBA, MFSA

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