Cross-border payments in the EU and currency conversion charges: the revised Cross-Border Regulation (“CBPR2”) and the national authorities’ flexibility in enforcing the currency conversion transparency requirements due to the COVID-19 crisis

Authors: Julienne Bencini
Published on April 27, 2020
Practices: Banking Regulatory
Just under two decades ago, the European Parliament issued a Regulation on cross-border payments geared towards facilitating cross-border trade within the Union by ensuring that cross-border payment charges across Member States are the same regardless of participation in the euro area, though unfortunately, this Regulation excluded non-euro area Member States [1]. For non-euro Member States, domestic payments in euro are very costly allowing for payment service providers (PSPs) to price a transaction differently where a currency conversion is involved. This undoubtedly creates obstacles to the full integration of businesses and citizens in non-euro area Member States affecting their competitiveness which is at the heart of the European Single Market.

MDB to implement the Interest Rate Subsidy scheme complementing the COVID-19 Guarantee Scheme

Authors: James Debono
Published on April 22, 2020
Practices: Banking Regulatory
Earlier this month the Malta Development Bank (“MDB”) has launched the EU Commission-approved MDB COVID-19 Guarantee Scheme (the “Guarantee Scheme”), which mainly provides guarantees to commercial banks to facilitate access to bank financing to businesses established and operating in Malta (both, SMEs having up to 250 employees, as well as large enterprises with more than 250 employees), who are facing liquidity and cashflow problems due to the pandemic. The Guarantee Scheme mainly entails a fund of €350 million for the guaranteeing of loans granted by banks, which banks would in turn be able to leverage the Government’s guarantees up to a total portfolio volume of €777.8 million to support all types of businesses. For more information on the eligibility and features of the Guarantee Scheme visit the MDB website from the link below:

COVID-19: Listing Authority’s policy regarding the automatic suspension of securities

Authors: Beppe Degiorgio
Published on April 17, 2020
Practices: Capital Markets
The MFSA has published a circular (the “Circular”) about the suspension of one of the Listing Authority’s policies which, under normal circumstances, requires the Malta Stock Exchange to suspend the trading of financial instruments admitted to trading when issuers fail to publish, inter alia, audited annual financial statements or their interim financial statements within the timeframes stipulated in the Listing Rules, particularly LR 5.56 and 5.85 (the “Suspension Policy”). The Suspension Policy ensures that investors have sufficient information to properly assess the financial position of the company in which they have invested. The Suspension Policy also protects potential investors who were considering making an investment without the required updated information on the issuer’s financial situation.