Prime Minister Joseph Muscat inaugurated the new premises of the Malta Business Registry. In the presence of the Parliamentary Secretary for Financial Services, Digital Economy and Innovation Silvio Schembri, Prime Minister Joseph Muscat said that the inauguration of the new premises is yet another milestone for the financial services sector. ‘This is not just a change in the premises but a start of something new. Now the MFSA can focus better on its regulatory role and duties whilst exerting its energy in addressing challenges within the sector and seek to implement new innovative technological methods in this thriving sector. On the other hand, the agency can focus better on the registration of companies, seek to provide services that before were difficult to be given, make sure that the registry will be more accurate and includes in it companies that are still active and lastly provide better services to clients and investors’, said Prime Minister Joseph Muscat.
‘The fact that now there’s this Agency in place shows the Government’s commitment strengthen regulator’s work. The Malta Business Registry will complement the modernization process the MFSA has embarked upon whilst this entity will be able to move forward through digitalization processes where even here Distributed Ledger Technology will be used in its day to day operations’, said Prime Minister Muscat whilst adding that even the location of the premises in Zejtun reflects the Government’s commitment in bringing commercial activities to this area of the country.
Parliamentary Secretary for Financial Services, Digital Economy and Innovation Silvio Schembri recalled the time when he first visited the Registry of Companies’ old premises which were in a bad state and were not giving workers the dignity that they truly deserved. ‘The previous situation was unnacceptable. Resources were limited and at times shared with clients as well. From then onwards, as a Parliamentary Secretary responsible for the Financial Services, I took the initiative to identify adequate premises to arrive to where we are today. Through an extensive investment in IT, the Registry of Companies will be more efficient and will substantially reduce unnecessary bureaucratic procedures. It will be run by a system which will handle all of the processes performed by the Registry of Companies. The new system will make possible the provision of new services which the present system does not cater for’, said Parliamentary Secretary Schembri while adding that the Agency will be the first one in Europe to be run by a blockchain-based system as well as artificial intelligence.
‘The premises will serve as the beating heart of the technological activity in Malta. It will reflect our drive to remain at the forefront of the digital revolution, our commitment to embrace new emergent technology and give it room to flourish in our strong ecosystem’, he said. Parliamentary Secretary Schembri added that the agency depicts the Government’s commitment in being a role model by implementing family-friendly measures, one of which is the child-minding project, which would allow parents to bring their children here to be picked up for school and vice-versa. This will complement and encourage the uptake of the free transport services being provided by the Goverment.’
The Registrator, Joseph Farrugia, explained that the agency’s vision is to expand its operations in managing records related to other businesses which will include foundations and associations. Therefore, the new name of the agency, the Malta Business Registry (MBR for short) in order to reflect the agency’s new vision and responsibilities, said Farrugia.
Farrugia said that the workload at the RoC has been growing exponentially over the past years. The total number of companies registered in the Registry at present is 98,000, with over 66% of these companies being active. In 2018, a total of 6,000 new companies were registered, representing a 9% increase over 2017 figures and a whopping 27 % increase over 2013 statistics. The average number of registered new companies in the last three years has been 5,700 per year.
The Registry of Companies is a public registry responsible for the registered information and documentation pertaining to new and existing companies. It was at the end of last year when formally the Registry of Companies demergered from the MFSA and established itself as a standalone agency. Through the new Legal Act, the Registry of Companies was given the responsibility for all assets, liabilities and obligations which were previously vested or entered by the MFSA and which emanate or arise from the functions of the Agency. The new premises in Zejtun will later host the International Taxation Unit, Tech.MT Foundation, Finance Malta and Gaming Malta.
Source: Press Release by the Office of the Prime Minister