Financial Institutions are governed under Maltese law by the Financial Institutions Act (Chapter 376 of the Laws of Malta). The Act covers factoring, money transmission services, including e-money, guarantees and commitments, the issue and administration of payments and also foreign exchange. Different from credit institutions, financial institutions cannot take deposits or other repayable funds from the public in order to fund their business.
Financial Institutions may however offer the following services:
- Venture or Risk Capital
- Financial leasing
- Payment Services
- Trading for own account or for customers in money market instruments, foreign exchange, financial futures and options, exchange and interest rate instruments and transferable instruments
- Money broking
- Underwriting share issues and participating in such issues
- Issuing of electronic money
Financial institutions have the benefit of having less stringent licensing and regulatory requirements than credit institutions.