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Malta Adapting Trusts Legislation, Regulations

by Jason Gorringe, Lowtax.net, London
10 March, 2014

Maltese Minister for Finance Professor Edward Scicluna has outlined a raft of legislation to support the development of the island's trust sector.

In his address to the Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners' International Conference Global Business in a Challenging Environment on March 6, 2014, he noted the publication by the United States of final regulations implementing the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA), an agreement for which has been signed between the United States and a number of third countries, including Malta.

He highlighted other efforts by Malta to improve transparency, including the proposed register of beneficiaries, which is being proposed as part of Malta's response to the Fourth Anti-Money Laundering Directive published by the European Commission in February 2013.

Discussing other legislative changes to position Malta's trust sector for the future, Scicluna said that "amendments being proposed to the Trust and Trustees Act are aimed at achieving a balance between making Malta a more attractive trust domicile, through the introduction of new features such as the concept of family trusts, whilst ensuring that the necessary safeguards are in place through the reinforcement of the relevant regulatory regime."

Summarizing the challenges facing Malta's trust sector, he concluded: "It is evident that such wide-reaching initiatives will have an impact on the way the community of finance practitioners operates and that is why broad engagement in the process of formulation of these structures and the rules that will govern them is so important. Malta does, of course, face big challenges; it would be imprudent to think otherwise. However, getting the structures and infrastructure right and ensuring that they fulfil their roles is essential to ensure that Malta continues on the road of prosperity."

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