For residents of the European Union Malta is often a jurisdiction of choice for QROPS pensions and it is a strong financial centre, well regulated, allows for pension freedoms and has many dual tax treaties in place with other member states. It is the Maltese regulator (the MFSA) that has recently concluded a review of the sector and implemented new rules from January lst 2019. This is big news for the industry and it is going to effect those who can, and can no longer give pension investment advice to retail clients.
As anticipated and reflected in significant discussions with Advisers over the last 18 months there is now a need within the new Rules to be fully authorised to provide investment advice under MIFID II (EU Directive 2014/65/EU). The Insurance Distribution Directive ('IDD') authorisation (EU Directive 2016/97), is also required when advising on a Life Assurance Bond.
Where only IDD authorisation is in place, a suitably regulated discretionary fund manager must be appointed to advise and manage the investments, who in turn must be licensed under Directive 2014/65/EU.
Outside Europe, an "equivalent level of regulatory supervision" must be in place. MFSA guidance has confirmed they require regulatory supervision in terms of authorisation, supervision and enforcement, and the jurisdiction must be a country that is a signatory of the International Organisation of Securities Commissions (IOSCO) Multilateral Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) or other jurisdiction with which the MFSA has a suitable MOU. Otherwise a suitably regulated DFM must be appointed as outlined above. In all cases, the Rules also require that the Adviser must be authorised and regulated to provide such investment advice to the Member.
Patrick Macdonald ASCI
International Financial Adviser
Essentially any company or individual giving investment advice on a Malta based pension, such as a QROPS, must have a MIFID license. This is going to prevent a lot of European firms from giving advice in this area as it has been previously done under insurance regulations.
Clients may now find themselves without a professional adviser for their pensions as MANY firms do not hold the newly required MIFID license
Has your financial adviser disappeared? This could have happened as many do not have a the required license for pensions advice in Malta. We have the requisite MiFID license and so can advise on pension investments under Maltese law as well as for residents of Spain. We are part of a reputable international financial management firm. We are not a data broker passing your information on to other firms etc. We are licensed and authorised throughout Europe to give financial advice and arrange pension transfers. When you call us you will speak directly with the qualified, experienced adviser who will assess your pension(s) and give you a personal recommendation bespoke to your circumstances. You are under no obligation to follow our recommendation and we do not charge for your pension evaluation. So, for an initial chat why not give us a call or send a message on the form below. REMEMBER avoid scammers by only dealing with properly regulated entities.
We are British advisers living in Spain with the appropriate qualifications and experience to give professional advice here. Unlike UK based firms we have a deep knowledge of the pension laws and tax system in Spain. Although we are EU regulated we are not forced to charge you fees like a UK based firm (although we always offer this option). This means there is no initial fee taken from your investment - which in the UK is often 3% of the value.