The Minister for Finance Edward Scicluna officially inaugurated a new Regional Office and motor claims surveying centre in Birkirkara, which will be jointly operated by Middlesea Insurance and MSV Life.
During the inauguration, the Minister for Finance delivered a brief speech, alongside Mr Martin Galea, Chairman of Middlesea Insurance p.l.c., Mr Alfredo Munoz Perez, Chief Executive Officer of Middlesea Insurance plc, and Mr David Curmi, CEO of MSV life.
During his address, Minister Scicluna said that: “It is always encouraging seeing operators branching out on the ground, establishing new premises, moving closer to their clients and creating both economic growth as well as jobs.”
“It shows that the sector is not only doing well, but prospering and expanding, something that bodes well for the economy as a whole,” he underlined.
The Minister said that the insurance sector is a growing sector in our country. He added that Malta is now home to over 60 insurance and reinsurance companies and the volume of business, in terms of total assets under management, has passed the €10 billion mark. Life insurance now also accounts for over €1 billion of annual premium, 80 percent of which is down to international business.
While noting that both the government and the private sector should be satisfied with these results, he emphasized that this would not have been possible without Malta’s sound and robust regulatory framework.
He noted that while these may be restrictive and incur financial burdens on operators, regulations are essential in order to ensure robust practices.
The Minister said that just a day before the Parliament was discussing the second reading of a proposed bill that is intended to amend the Act on Commercial Banking, which aims to transpose the CRD IV into local legislation.
The Minister remarked that the after-effects of the financial crisis are being felt to this day, which even spiralled into sovereign debts. He noted that this resulted in a stronger push for more rigorous and restrictive regulation to avoid such a scenario in the future.
Among these are stronger capital requirements, more liquidity requirements, and restrictions on board members and so on, he said.
He noted that with the introduction of the Solvency II Directive, it is the insurance industry’s turn to come under more robust regulatory requirements, which will then be implemented early next year.
The Minister said that while Malta weathered the financial storm well, a more robust regulatory framework will ultimately benefit the sector, the operators, and their clients.
Saturday 7th March 2015