Joseph Farrugia

The Malta Business Registry has published its Annual Report and Financial Statement for the financial year ending 31st December 2020.

During 2020, the Malta Business Registry focused on the enhancement of due diligence processes and legislative frameworks that safeguard the Maltese jurisdiction whilst ensuring an accurate registry, it said. Moreover, the Malta Business Registry implemented all Moneyval recommendations, resulting in the introduction of rigorous procedures that improve governance and compliance.

“The MBR has stepped up its due diligence procedures by endowing itself with the power to take concrete actions that prove the seriousness and credibility of the entity in question- from asking for additional documentation for verification purposes and applying sanctions when necessary to conducting onsite inspections, increasing administrative penalties and enhancing the enforcement of penalties,” explained Chief Executive Officer Joseph Farrugia.

According to its Annual Report, the MBR’s compliance unit reviewed over 12,000 forms and conducted more than 27,000 checks in the year under review. Furthermore, the screening related to new companies amounted to around 11,000 checks, which included analyses of directors and shareholders/beneficial owners. In 2020, this unit conducted 828 onsite inspections and is projecting to carry out around 1,000 during 2021.

Moreover, the Malta Business Registry undertook significant legislative developments headed by the legal and enforcement unit as per the evaluation report compiled by the Council of Europe’s Committee of Experts on the Evaluation of the Anti-Money laundering measures and the financing of Terrorism, the legislative initiatives put forward by the European Union and the digitalisation drive being undertaken by the MBR to launch a new electronic system.

The legal unit undertook the challenging task of keeping the Register of Commercial Partnerships in good order by striking off defunct companies that were in breach of the Companies Act and its subsidiary legislation.

In view of this, the legal and enforcement unit issued 56,000 notifications sent as legal letters resulting in the striking off 11,289 companies from the register, as well as an additional 1,166 companies that failed to file the beneficial ownership information.

On the other hand, the Annual Report pointed out that albeit the COVID-19 impact on the global economy, the MBR registered 3,514 new commercial partnerships in 2020.

Featured Image:

Joseph Farrugia / MBR

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