(i) Payment services institutions, passporting services under legal frameworks moulded after the second payment services directive (“PSD2” – Directive (EU) 2015/2366); and
(ii) Electronic money institutions, passporting services under legal frameworks moulded after the e-money directive (“EMD” – Directive 2009/110/EC).
Following MONEYVAL’s recommendations for Malta in its Fifth Round Mutual Evaluation Report dated July 2019, a number of financial institutions (including payment services and electronic money institutions) located in Malta are concerned with the impact for their business of the lack of adequate governmental action regarding measures on anti-money laundering and terrorist financing.
A not so friendly conduct of the Malta Financial Services Authority (MFSA) towards foreign owned/controlled institutions has also been pushing some companies into contemplating the possibility to move their business out of Malta and considering becoming based and licensed in other EU member states.
Where and how to relocate a business is a major and complex decision. If you are contemplating moving your business out of Malta, Portugal should be in your radar.
Under Portuguese law, payment services and e-money institutions are subject to the prudential and conduct supervision of the Bank of Portugal (in Portuguese “Banco de Portugal” – “BdP”).
An existing financial group may obtain BdP’s authorisation to incorporate a payment services and/or an e-money institution and subsequently complete the institution’s registration with BdP for the intended services. Later (subject to BdP’s approval), the Maltese institution may be incorporated into the new Portuguese entity via a cross-border merger, in terms that the business and operations of the entity may be carried out as a duly licensed Portuguese institution while maintaining legal business continuity.
Belzuz Abogados Comercial and Corporate Law Department has a team fully prepared to deal with these matters from regulatory, corporate and tax perspectives.
Belzuz Advogados SLP
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