Malta is a Southern European island country, located in an archipelago in the Mediterranean Sea. Malta is a member of the European Union since 2004 and of the Economic Monetary Union (Eurozone) since 2008.
Malta is an advanced economy, possessing favourable geographic location and productive labour force. Malta's main industries are electronics, ship building and repair, construction, food and beverages, pharmaceuticals; key services sectors of the Maltese economy are tourism and aviation services, financial and information technology services.
Malta is establishing itself as an international banking centre and hub for finance in the Mediterranean region. Malta's banking sector has transformed from one having several retail banks serving the local population to a diversified landscape with domestic and foreign-controlled banks, providing a variety of solutions from traditional retail banking products to sofisticated customized private banking, wealth management and corporate banking products.
Malta joined the Euro Area on 1 January 2008. The preceding national currency, Maltese lira (MTL), was replaced by Euro.
|Nominal GDP (2016)||Nominal GDP per Capita (2016)||Real GDP Growth (2016)|
|9.9 bln EUR (+0.11%)||22 700 EUR (+0.10%)||5.0 % (2015: 6.3 %)|
According to Eurostat, nominal GDP of Malta in 2016 was 9.9 bln EUR.
Malta outperforms the European Union in terms of real GDP growth with the average annual differential coming to 2.2% over the past 10 years (2006 - 2016). In 2016 real GDP growth was 5.0% which was above the Euro Area average (1.8%) and above the European Union average (1.9%). Real GDP growth in 2017 - 2022 are IMF's estimates.
Chart 1. Real GDP Growth in Malta. Source: Eurostat, International Monetary Fund.
In 2016, nominal GDP per capita in Malta was 22 700 EUR.
Malta has an above-average level of wealth in terms of per-capita GDP at purchasing power parity (PPP); this economic welfare indicator has, on average, exceeded that of the European Union by 0.9% over the past 10 years (2006 - 2016). GDP per capita at PPP in 2017 - 2022 are IMF's estimates.
Chart 2. GDP Per Capita at Purchasing Power Parity in Malta; European Union = 100.
|CPI, MoM (Sep 2017)||CPI, YoY (Sep 2017)||CPI, Year Average (2016)|
|-0.9 % (Aug 2017: 0.4 %)||1.2 % (unchanged)||0.9 % (2015: 1.2 %)|
According to Eurostat, inflation rate in Malta in 2016 expressed as annual percentages of average consumer prices was 0.9% which was above the Euro Area average (0.2%) and above the European Union average (0.3%). Inflation rates in 2017 - 2022 are IMF's estimates.
Chart 3. Inflation Rate in Malta. Source: Eurostat, International Monetary Fund.
|Unemployment Rate (2016)|
|4.7 % (2015: 5.4 %)|
|Government Bond Yield (Sep 2017)|
|1.26 % (Aug 2017: 1.23 %)|
Chart 4. Government bond yield of Malta. Source: Eurostat.
|A (high credit quality), outlook positive||A3 (upper medium grade), outlook stable|
Withholding taxes are imposed at source of income and are often applied to dividends, interest, royalties, rent and similar payments. The rates of withholding tax are often reduced by double taxation agreements.
Withholding tax rates applied on payments of interest and dividends in Malta are shown in Table 1.
|Natural person, resident||15.0 %||15.0 %|
|Natural person, non-resident||0.0 %||0.0 %|
Double Taxation Agreement (DTA) is an agreement between two or more countries for the avoidance of double taxation.
Malta signed DTAs which already came info force with the following jurisdictions (for agreements which came into force after 1 January 2013 the date of coming into force is given in brackets):
There are also several agreements between Malta and other jurisdictions which were signed but haven't yet come into force (for agreements signed after after 1 January 2013 of signing the agreement is given in brackets):
There are 3 ways for jusrisdictions to exchange information on tax matters:
Spontaneous exchange of information is provision of information that is forseeably relevant to another party without a request being previously sent.
Tax Information Exchange Agreements (TIEAs) enable exchange of information on request relating to a specific tax investigation, either criminal or civil.
Automatic information exchange allows jurisdictions to exchange information automatically, without having a specific tax investigation.
Malta signed TIEAs which already came info force with the following jurisdictions (for agreements which came into force after 1 January 2013 the date of coming into force is given in brackets):
There are also several agreements between Malta and other jurisdictions which was signed but haven't yet come into force (for agreements signed after 1 January 2013 of signing the agreement is given in brackets):
Malta signed the automatic information exchange agreement on 29 October 2014 and committed to start the automatic information exchange in September 2017.
Malta has signed bilateral agreements with 58 jurisdictions to automatically receive information:
Malta has signed bilateral agreements with 70 jurisdictions to automatically send information:
Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA) which became law in the United States in March 2010, focuses on reporting made by foreign financial institutions about financial accounts held by US taxpayers or foreign entities in which US taxpayers hold a substantial ownership interest. The FATCA-reporting is facilitated by Intergovernmental Agreements (IGAs).
|FATCA Status in Malta|
|IGA in effect since 16 December 2013, Model 1|
Malta has FATCA agreement with the U.S. in effect since 16 December 2013 (Intergovernmental Agreement Model 1). Financial institutions operating in Malta are required to identify U.S. taxpayers by January 1, 2017 and to report the information for 2017 and the subsequent years. The agreement is reciprocal: Maltese financial accounts hold in U.S. financial institutions will be reported to Maltese authorities.
|Financial Market Development|
|4.4 (max 7.0), 43rd out of 138 countries|
|5.9 (max 7.0), 17th out of 138 countries|
According to World Economic Forum's Global Competitiveness Report 2017-2018, financial market development in Malta is scored 4.4 out of maximum 7.0 and ranked 43rd out of 138 analysed economies, trustworthiness and confidence of financial market is scored 4.4 (59th place).
Chart 5. Financial Market Development in Malta. Source: WEF.
Soundness of banks is scored 5.9 bringing Malta into the 17th place.
Chart 6. Soundness of Banks in Malta. Source: WEF.
|Maximum Protected Amount|
|100 000 EUR|
Deposit Guarantee Schemes compensate certain deposits held by depositors of a bank that becomes unable to meet its obligations.
From a depositor's point of view it is important to know:
All these details about deposit guarantee scheme in Malta are summarised in Table 2.
|Scheme Participants||all credit institutions operating in Malta, branches of non-EEA banks, branches of Maltese banks abroad|
|Scheme Exemptions||branches of EEA-banks (covered by their home countries)|
|Covered Accounts||most types of deposit are covered, including current, deposit and savings accounts|
|Maximum Protected Amount||100 000 EUR|
|Paid In Currency||in the same currency as the deposit|
Table 2. Deposit guarantee scheme in Malta.
EEA stands for European Economic Area and consists of all EU member states plus Liechtenstein, Norway and Iceland.
Moody's country ceilings for deposits specify the highest rating that can be assigned to local- or foreign- currency denominated deposit obligations of a bank or other deposit taking institution domiciled within that country.
|Local Currency (Euro)||Foreign Currency|
|Aaa (prime)||Aaa (prime)|
Local currency (Euro) deposit ceiling for Malta is set to Aaa (prime), foreign currency deposit ceiling is Aaa (prime).
|Average Deposit Rate (Aug 2017, EUR)|
|0.37 % (Jul 2017: 0.42 %)|
Chart 7. Deposit Rates in Malta. Source: ECB.
|Number of Banks|
|Consolidated Assets (2016)|
|46 384.43 mln EUR (-1.60%)|
|Recent Changes (2016)|
|new banks: 0, closed banks: 1|
Currently there are 26 credit institutions operating in Malta.
In 2016 consolidated banking assets in Malta were 46 384.43 mln EUR. The consolidated banking assets' evolution is shown at Chart 8 below.
Chart 8. Consolidated banking assets in Malta.
Recent structural changes (2013 - 2016) of the banking sector of Malta are summarised in Table 3.
|Number of Opened Banks||0||3||2||0|
|Number of Closed Banks||0||3||1||1|
Table 3. Recent structural changes in the banking sector of Malta.
The list of the most recently opened banks in Malta is provided in Table 4.
All the credit institutions operating in Malta can be classified into several categories. Table 5 summarises the number of banks in each category.
|Category||Number of Banks|
|Branches of foreign banks||3|
There are 3 branches of foreign banks from 2 different countries in Malta. Table 6 shows the number of branches grouped by the country of origin.
|Country of Origin||Number of Branches|
|1||Bank of Valletta (BOV)|
|2||HSBC Bank Malta plc|
|3||Deutsche Bank (Malta) Ltd|
|4||Mediterranean Bank plc|
|6||Lombard Bank Malta plc|