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Offshore Trusts Report: Malta

The Trust and Trustees Act 2004

In September, 2004, a bill to update Maltese legislation on trusts and trustees was published in the Government Gazette. Under the new Act, Maltese residents and companies were, for the first time, permitted to use local trusts. The Trusts and Trustees Act 2004 became effective in January 2005.

"The purpose of this new law is to continue the process started in 1994 where the offshore laws are eliminated and Malta re-directed to the development of an onshore financial centre," said MFSC chairman Joe Bannister at the time.

Mr Bannister added that the bill eliminated the nominee company regime, and furthered Malta's international obligations on non-discrimination, transparency and prevention of money laundering.

According to Bannister, the bill aimed to make Malta an attractive jurisdiction for trust administration. Another purpose of the legislation is to ensure that trusts will not create any anomalies in the taxation of income.

“The tax implications have been worded in such as a way that the new law may be used as a tax planning tool but not for tax avoidance. Any transfer of assets into a trust or any change of beneficiaries within the trust will be treated as taxable," stated Kevin Valenzia, chairman of the Financial Services Consultative Council and partner at PricewaterhouseCoopers.

In April, 2005, the Maltese government said it expected the new trust laws to bring about an increase in employment and foreign earnings and make Malta more competitive as an international financial services jurisdiction.

In May 2007, the Bank of Valletta announced that it had launched a new account based on the concept of a trust which, the bank said, would not only provide customers with discretion and confidentiality, but also a flexible and useful estate and inheritance planning vehicle.

"By opening a BOV Trust Account, customers would not only be ensuring that their money is in safe hands but will also be benefiting from the most exacting standards in terms of discretion and confidentiality,” said Paul Gauci, Head of BOV’s Trustee Services Unit.

“Discretion and confidentiality are key features that result from having the account opened in the name of the Bank that acts as Trustee and that is responsible to hold the funds for the benefit of the named beneficiaries selected by the depositor (the Settlor),” explained Dr. Andrew Chetcuti Ganado, Legal Advisor at BOV’s Trustee Services Unit.

“Unlike any other bank account, upon the Settlor’s death, the designated beneficiary/beneficiaries of the BOV Trust Account will have immediate access to the funds in the account. As a result, this account is ideal to avoid any formal, lengthy and cumbersome succession procedures,” he added.

Dr. Chetcuti Ganado explained further that, unlike a will which is, effectively, a public document, the BOV Trust Account ensures that upon the Settlor’s death nobody needs to know who the designated beneficiaries are and how much each beneficiary is entitled to. He concluded that Malta is rapidly establishing itself as a centre of Trust Administration.

Indeed, in 2008, the Malta Financial Services Authority reported that there had been steady growth in the number of licences it had issued in the first seven months of that year, including in the trust sector. Five trustee services companies were registered during the period, with two of these companies offering fiduciary services.

   

The Report

Offshore Trusts Guide: Introduction

The History of Offshore Trusts
Development of Professional Competence in the Jurisdictions
What Future for the Trust?
The New Age of Transparency
The Swiss Association of Trust Companies
The Society of Trusts and Estates Practitioners

Offshore Trusts Guide: Jurisdictions

Bahamas

Bahamas: Legal Framework and Formation Rules and Fees
Bahamas: 2006 Private Trust Companies Legislation

Barbados

Barbados: Legal Framework and Formation Rules and Fees
Barbados: Supervisory and Licensing Regime and Fees

Bermuda

Bermuda: Legal Framework and Formation Rules and Fees
Bermuda: Supervisory and Licensing Regime and Fees

British Virgin Islands

British Virgin Islands: Legal Framework and Formation Rules and Fees
British Virgin Islands: Special Trusts Act 2003
British Virgin Islands: The Trustee Act 2003
British Virgin Islands: :Supervisory and Licensing Regime and Fees
British Virgin Islands: New Laws on Private Trust Companies
British Virgin Islands: New Private Trust Company Regulations

Cayman Islands

Cayman Islands: Legal Framework and Formation Rules and Fees
Cayman Islands: Supervisory and Licensing Regime and Fees

Cook Islands

Cook Islands: Legal Framework and Formation Rules and Fees
Cook Islands: Supervisory and Licensing Regime and Fees

Cyprus

Cyprus: Legal Framework and Formation Rules and Fees
Cyprus: Supervision, Licensing and Tax

Gibraltar

Gibraltar: Legal Framework and Formation Rules and Fees
Gibraltar: Legislation, Regulation and Supervision

Guernsey

Guernsey: Legal Framework and Formation Rules and Fees
Guernsey: Trusts Law 2007

Isle of Man

Isle of Man: Legal Framework and Formation Rules and Fees
Isle of Man: Supervisory and Licensing Regime
Isle of Man: Uses Clients and Tax Treatment

Jersey

Jersey: Legal Framework and Formation Rules and Fees
Jersey: Supervisory and Licensing Regime
Jersey: Trusts Amendment Act 2006
Jersey: Foundations

Liechtenstein

Liechtenstein: Legal Framework and Formation Rules and Fees
Liechtenstein: Regulation Supervision and Transparency
Liechtenstein: Characteristics of Liechtenstein Trusts
Liechtenstein: Foundations

Madeira

Madeira: Legal Framework and Formation Rules and Fees

Malta

Malta: Legal Framework and Formation Rules and Fees
Malta: The Trust and Trustees Act 2004

Mauritius

Mauritius: Legal Framework and Formation Rules and Fees
Mauritius: Characteristics of the 2001 Trusts Act
Mauritius: Additional Provisions of the 2001 Trusts Act
Mauritius: Tax Treatment

Monaco

Monaco: Legal Framework and Formation Rules and Fees

Nevis

Nevis: Legal Framework and Formation Rules and Fees

New Zealand

New Zealand: Legal Framework and Formation Rules and Fees
New Zealand: Review of the Law of Trusts
New Zealand: Taxation of Trusts

Panama

Panama: Legal Framework and Formation Rules and Fees
Panama: Requirements for Acting as Trust Company in Panama

Seychelles

Seychelles: Legal Framework and Formation Rules and Fees

Turks & Caicos

Turks & Caicos: Legal Framework and Formation Rules and Fees
Turks & Caicos: The Voidable Dispositions Ordinance

Vanuatu

Vanuatu Legal Framework and Formation Rules and Fees

 


Malta News

International Support For Beneficial Ownership Info Exchange Wednesday 27/4/2016 More than 20 jurisdictions have signed up to a pilot project to exchange data held on beneficial ownership registers and registers of trusts, according to UK Chancellor George Osborne.

Barclays Warns Expats Of Possible Account Closures Thursday 23/7/2015 Barclays Bank has disclosed that it may close expat's accounts in Cyprus if they do not maintain a minimum balance of GPB100,000 (USD156,000).

DeMontford Bell Expands Malta Operations Wednesday 15/7/2015 DeMontford Bell, the UK-headquartered financial introducer, has announced that it is to expand its permanent operations in Malta to support the high volume of business migrating there.

Guernsey Named Europe's Top Captive Domicile Wednesday 28/1/2015 Guernsey has been named European territory of the year for captive insurance business for the third year running at the UK Captive Services Awards.

Malta Financial Services Sector Reports Strong Growth Tuesday 8/7/2014

The Malta Financial Services Authority has reported that 2013 has been another successful year for the financial services industry, with strong growth in the number of registered funds and retirement schemes.



Malta Increases Oversight Of Corporate Service Providers Wednesday 9/4/2014 The Malta Financial Services Authority has announced that it has received an overwhelming response to the introduction this year of licenses for Corporate Service Providers.

Malta Adapting Trusts Legislation, Regulations Monday 10/3/2014 Maltese Minister for Finance Professor Edward Scicluna has outlined a raft of legislation to support the development of the island's trust sector.

Liechtenstein, Malta Sign DTA Friday 4/10/2013 Liechtenstein's Foreign Minister Aurelia Frick and her Maltese counterpart George Vella have recently signed in New York a bilateral double taxation agreement between the two countries in respect of taxes on income and on wealth.

Malta Signs Tax Treaty With Macau Thursday 18/7/2013 The governments of Malta and Macau recently signed an agreement to work together to prevent tax evasion and tax avoidance.

Malta To Increase Oversight Of Trusts Sector Friday 22/3/2013 Malta's Financial Services Authority has launched a consultation on new reporting requirements that it proposes should soon be applicable to persons authorized to provide trustee and other fiduciary services under the Trusts and Trustees Act.