MFSA appoints UK financial services veterans to senior supervisory positions

Three UK nationals with vast exprience in British financial services market set to take up senior positions within MFSA's supervisory area

The MFSA has appointed three UK financial services veterans to senior supervisory positions
The MFSA has appointed three UK financial services veterans to senior supervisory positions

The MFSA has announced the appointment of three British financial services veterans to senior positions in the regulator’s supervisory section.

Following the restructuring which took place early last year, the watchdog has been actively engaged in strengthening its organisational capacity by creating new operational and supervisory functions which include risk management, supervisory ICT and cybersecurity risk, financial crime compliance, data management & business intelligence, FinTech, and programme management, the MFSA said in a statement on Friday.

This process also entailed engaging new professionals to join the MFSA leadership team in order to focus on the delivery and implementation of the MFSA’s Vision 2021 and Strategic Plan published in 2019, it highlighted.

Three UK nationals with vast experience in the British financial services market (within the Bank of England, Financial Conduct Authority and the private sector) are set to take up, in the coming weeks, a number of senior positions within the MFSA’s supervisory area namely banking supervision, financial crime compliance and conduct supervision, the Authority said.

David Eacott will be the new MFSA’s Head of Banking Supervision. He will be taking over from Catherine Galea who has been appointed Head of (Supervisory) Quality Assurance, as more focus is needed in this area in line with European Central Bank (ECB) recommendations.

Anthony Eddington will be the new Head of Financial Crime Compliance while Emily Benson will take up the role of Head of Conduct, taking over from Michelle Mizzi Buontempo who has been appointed Chief Officer – Enforcement and will now form part of the MFSA’s Executive Committee. The composition of the MFSA’s Executive Committee was completed with the engagement of Ivan Zammit as Chief Operations Officer last month.

Meanwhile, Marianne Scicluna who currently occupies the position of Chief Officer – Supervision shall be availing herself of a one-year career break from the MFSA in order to pursue an opportunity within a regulatory authority in a foreign jurisdiction. As a result, Christopher P Buttigieg and Michael Xuereb will be taking up the roles of Chief Officer – Supervision, and Chief Officer – Strategy, Policy & Innovation respectively.

Angele Galea St John, who held the role of Head of Authorisations, will be pursuing her career in the private sector after 25 years of service at the MFSA.

New due diligence function

A new function is being set up to centralise and focus solely on probity, intelligence gathering, due-diligence and ongoing monitoring of fit and properness of individuals and their involvements while operating in the financial services sector. The Authority highlighted tha it was investing in more technology, information systems and process enhancements, along with human resources and improved skillsets, to increase the effectiveness and robustness of due diligence.

Authorisations

The licensing and authorisations process within the Authority is set for an overhaul with the merging of sectoral authorisations (e.g. banking and financial institutions, insurance and pensions) into their respective supervisory functions, the MFSA said.

This merge will ensure a more streamlined and efficient approach throughout the lifecycle of each entity falling within the oversight of the MFSA, it underscored.

Furthermore, the Authority will be publishing a service level charter by the end of Q1 2020, outlining target timeframes and procedures for each licensing and authorisation application.

MFSA CEO Joseph Cuschieri said he was happy with the progress registered, adding that it was encouraging that the watchdog was attracting foreign experts.

“I am very pleased with the progress made so far and confident that with the changes in its leadership team, the Authority will continue to enhance its performance and oversight of the financial services sector, addressing inherent risks and focusing on the implementation of its ambitious strategy in line with IMF and MONEYVAL recommendations. It is also very encouraging that the MFSA is managing to attract top-tier foreign and local talented professionals to join its team," Cuschieri said.

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