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News & Events

ifs Malta monthly news and events

Highly Successful ifs Malta Annual Dinner

Ifs-Malta organised its Annual Dinner on 19 November 2019, which this year took place at the Corinthia Palace Hotel in Attard. The well-established and highly anticipated event in the calendar of bankers and financial services practitioners in Malta turned out to be a successful gathering of the leading financial players in the financial services sector together with others from the wider economy. As is customary, official speeches were delivered by the Governor or the Central Bank of Malta and Minister for Finance.


Ifs Malta President, Kenneth B. Micallef commenced the proceedings with a welcome address in which he highlighted the Institute’s main achievements during the year, with its academic success of having over 200 students completing their course of studies being at the forefront. Ifs Malta currently offers more than 30 internationally recognised financial and academic programmes in diverse areas, most of which are done through strategic alliances with internationally renowned professional educational bodies.


Mr Micallef stated the Institute is committed to doing its utmost for the betterment of the financial services sector. To this end, it has recently updated its Award in Home Loan Finance qualification following regulatory changes and organised a number of informative and well-attended seminars such as that pertaining to regulation and financial crime compliance in the funds industry and the better understanding of the Financial Intelligence Analysis Unit (FIAU) Revised Implementing Procedures. Furthermore, this year’s Annual Seminar focused on the topical theme of Combating Financial Crime with the participation of leading industry experts. In conclusion, Mr Micallef thanked all ifs Committee members and staff, and all stakeholders for their ongoing support.


The first keynote address of the evening was delivered by the Governor of the Central Bank, Dr Mario Vella. In his address, Governor Vella commended ifs Malta on its various achievements and for having another successful year.


Governor Vella gave an overview of the challenging international macroenvironment and stated that while Malta’s economic performance is projected to remain strong and resilient, it will be less than previous years. To sustain economic success and seek new investment opportunities, further investment in human capital and technology were necessary. There is a need to ensure compliance with the highly regulatory environment and rigorous standards of anti-money laundering and combating the financing of terrorism. Governor Vella ended his address by highlighting the Central Bank’s efforts to promote inclusiveness and diversity and develop its social research capability on studying inequalities together with its involvement in sustainable finance.


The final address of the evening was delivered by the Minister for Finance, Professor Edward Scicluna, who thanked ifs Malta for its ongoing commitment towards the professional development of financial services education in Malta.


Minister Scicluna gave a comprehensive overview of the difficult international economic environment and showcased Malta’s robust economic performance and how policy decisions are allowing it to enter these challenging times from a position of strength. There is still a lot that needs to be done, including the need to bolster physical and human capital. This will contribute towards creating an environment that continues to foster progress by upgrading Malta’s economy and its diversification into higher value-added activities. In spite of the ongoing challenges, the financial services sector also has a key role to play in the next stage of Malta’s future economic success and more inclusive growth.


The successful event had a high-profile attendance from the main financial services organisations and leading figures in the local economy.

ifs Malta Annual Dinner 2019
Date: 19th November 2019
Time: Pre-dinner drinks at 6.45 pm, Dinner at 7.30pm
Venue: Corinthia Palace Hotel, San Anton, Attard
Reservations: €70
Come and celebrate with us the end of the year while having the opportunity to meet and network with some of the most important names in the industry.
Distinguished guests will include the Minister for Finance, the Governor of the Central Bank of Malta, members of the Diplomatic Corp., senior management of Credit and Financial Institutions and representatives of constituted bodies.
In line with the established tradition, both the Minister of Finance and the Governor of the Central Bank of Malta, will be delivering key policy speeches during the event.
Members are encouraged to attend this important event which is also open to their business guests. Bookings can be effected by filling in the form below and forwarding it to Josette Cremona at

New ifs Malta Committee Elected

Kenneth B. Micallef reconfirmed as President


Following the Annual General Meeting and first Committee meeting of the Institute of Financial Services Malta (ifs Malta), Kenneth B. Micallef was reconfirmed as President for another year. Bonamy Mercieca was welcomed as a newly elected member to the Committee.


The Institute’s new Committee boasts a membership representation from the Island’s major financial services players including the Central Bank of Malta, the Malta Financial Services Authority, the National Development and Social Fund, APS Bank, BOV plc, BNF Bank, FCM Bank and HSBC Bank (Malta) plc.


The ifs Malta Committee for 2019-2020 is composed as follows: President: Kenneth B. Micallef; Vice-Presidents: Peter Calleya and Mark Agius; Honorary Secretary: Anatoli Grech; Honorary Treasurer: Christian Farrugia; Director of Operations: Joseph Ricca; Director of Communications: Jean Paul Attard; HR Officers: Paul Farrugia and Karl Dingli; Chair of the Governance sub-committee: Joseph Bugelli; Members: Joseph Agius; Kenneth Genovese; Adrian Mallia; Bonamy Mercieca; and Wendy Zammit.


Ifs Malta is Malta’s leading financial services education provider with a professional heritage of well over half a century. The Institute provides an array of educational programmes ranging from short technical qualifications to academic qualifications up to Masters level degrees. Ifs Malta is committed to continuous professional development and is at the forefront of promoting and fostering professionalism among financial services practitioners through its ongoing activities for the benefit of Malta’s financial services centre.



Photocaption (left to right): Christian Farrugia; Adrian Mallia; Paul Farrugia; Bonamy Mercieca; Kenneth Genovese; Kenneth B. Micallef; Anatoli Grech; Peter Calleya; Karl Dingli; Wendy Zammit; Mark Agius; Jean Paul Attard; and Joseph Ricca. Missing from photo: Joseph Agius and Joseph Bugelli.

IFS Malta organises Seminar on Regulation and Financial Crime Compliance in the Funds industry

The Institute of Financial Services (ifs Malta), in collaboration with the Malta Financial Services Authority (MFSA) and the UK’s International Compliance Association (ICA), hosted a seminar on regulation and financial crime compliance in the investment fund industry. Speakers at the Seminar, which was held at the Hilton Malta in St Julians, shared with the participants practical examples on how regulatory compliance can be improved in the light of an  increasingly complex and challenging business scenario.

Dr Christopher P. Buttigieg, Chief Officer, Strategy, Policy and Innovation, MFSA, opened the seminar highlighting a number of initiatives that were being undertaken by the MFSA as part of its transformation programme aimed at improving efficiency, optimizing resources and investing in technology. Dr Buttigieg stated that from a policy perspective, the Authority was working on a number of fronts such as making a case for the depositary passport which was particularly relevant to the funds industry.

The keynote speaker for the event,  Mr Jonathan Bowdler, Head,Governance, Risk and Compliance, ICA, tackled the key role that company directors have in managing regulatory compliance and the setting of a right compliance culture.

Ms Clare Farrugia, Senior Manager, Securities and Markets Supervision, MFSA, gave insights to participants as to what the Regulator in Malta expects to see when it conducts on-site inspections. Ms Farrugia elaborated on how compliance standards could be improved to the right level.

Mr Joseph J. Agius, Deputy Head, Securities and Markets Supervision, MFSA, moderated the panel discussion session which dwelt upon and discussed best practice in the valuation process, regulatory expectations in this area and challenges that are met by small fund management houses.

Mr Kenneth B. Micallef, President of ifs Malta stated: “ifs Malta is committed to continue working with its stakeholders with the objective of ensuring that education continues to be strengthened across the board within the local financial services industry ensuring the sustainability of the sector over the long term. It is with great pleasure to work with the Malta Financial Services Authority to foster constructive discussion and enhance the educational knowledge of people working in key areas of Malta’s financial services industry”.

Ifs Malta successfully raises the bar in Professional Risk Management

All candidates following the Financial Risk Management in Banks qualification, offered locally by ifs Malta through the London Institute of Banking and Finance (LIBF), did exceptionally well in the first ever sitting of this exam in Malta.


Elise Ann Mifsud, ifs Malta Head of School, congratulated the successful candidates and commended Erika L. Borg, Olivia Mercieca, and Janet Galea for attaining a pass with distinction.


She explained that the Institute had just recently launched three new qualifications in Risk Management, namely: Risk and Regulation in Banking (MQF Level 5); Financial Risk Management in Banks (MQF Level 6); and Managing Operational Risk and Governance (MQF Level 6). She said that the Institute was very pleased that the first cohort of students undertaking one of the qualifications had terminated the course successfully.


President of ifs Malta, Kenneth B. Micallef stated that the Institute has a long-standing relationship with LIBF through which it is able to source first class qualifications. The introduction of the professional risk management qualifications is testament to the Institute’s  commitment to remaining at the forefront of providing quality financial services education to ensure the future sustainability of our sector.


He concluded by stating “In light of ongoing regulatory change, industry developments and market volatility, these professional qualifications in risk management will contribute to raising the bar and upskilling industry professionals to better evaluate, manage, and contain any potential risks in today’s ever-changing financial environment”.





Photocaption (left to right): Erika L. Borg; Olivia Mercieca; David Carabott, ifs Malta tutor; Janet Galea; and Elise Ann Mifsud, ifs Malta Head of School.

ifs Malta holds annual graduation ceremony

The Institute of Financial Services-Malta recently held its annual graduation ceremony where it celebrated the academic achievements of close to 200 students who successfully completed a course of studies in the area of financial services in 2018.

This year’s ceremony was presided over by Her Excellency Marie-Louise Coleiro Preca, President of Malta.

ifs Malta President, Kenneth B. Micallef commenced proceedings by delivering his Introductory Address. Congratulating all successful students, Mr Micallef acknowledged the personal sacrifices and commitment needed to achieve one’s academic goals. In his speech he emphasised the need for the newly qualified professionals to demonstrate the right ethical standards to uphold the reputation of the Maltese financial services sector and ensure its sustainability. Mr Micallef also mentioned a number of initiatives ifs Malta is currently involved in including the development of a Diploma in Digital Technology – a qualification which will provide those interested in operating in the digital world.

This was followed by an address from Mr David Rossi, a former banker and successful academic, who recently completed his Chartered Banker MBA through IFS Malta. Mr Rossi shared his thoughts, experiences and personal reflections about learning, the evolution of the Maltese financial services sector, and the importance of demonstrating the right values to safeguard everything the Country has achieved so far.   

Afterwards, H.E. Marie-Louise Coleiro Preca and Kenneth Micallef handed out certificates to all successful candidates together with the awards to the top local candidates.

H.E. Marie-Louise Coleiro Preca concluded the graduation ceremony by commending IFS Malta for its role in facilitating financial services education in so many diverse areas. This will definitely contribute to raising the bar in this important yet demanding sector. The President of Malta emphasised the importance of using one’s skills and abilities to also promote the well-being of society by addressing such issues as poverty, inequality of the gender pay gap and more equitable distribution of wealth. The President of Malta ended her address by encouraging all successful candidates to continue their personal development as this will keep the profession in high regard and augured everyone a successful future.

Daphne Ciantar wins London Institute of Banking and Finance Scholar Prize

We would like to extend our congratualions to Ms Daphne Ciantar for winning the prestigious Scholar Prize by the London Institute of Banking and Finance for scoring the highest marks in the Advanced Work Based Learning Module forming part of the BSc(Hons) in Banking Partice and Management. Well done! 

IFS Malta President elected Fellow of The London Institute of Banking & Finance

IFS Malta President, Kenneth B. Micallef, has been elected Fellow of The London Institute of Banking and Finance (Fellow LIBF) in recognition of his academic qualifications, professional achievements, and support to the Institute and its role in being a leading provider of financial services education.

Rob Thompson, Relationship Director at the London Institute which was formerly known as the Chartred Institute of Bankers, made the announcement at the recent IFS Malta Annual Dinner and presented Mr Micallef with the Fellowship scroll. Mr Thompson said: “it is a an honour for me to present this prestigious award to Kenneth Micallef, who joins an exclusive list of esteemed bankers, in recognition of his professional and exemplarly contribution to the banking and finance industries and in particular education and training”.

Mr Micallef, started his banking career in 1993 when he joined Bank of Valletta and over the years performed a number of roles within the Bank, both at retail and head office level. He was Head of CEO’s Office and Secretary of the Bank's Management Board and is currently Executive - Fgura Business centre. He is also member on the BOV Arts Exhibition Committee and Executive Secretary of the BOV Joseph Calleja Foundation.

Mr Micallef has been an active Committee Member of IFS Malta since he was first elected in 2003. Over the years he has occupied various roles including responsibility for the Institute's activities, participation in a number of financial literacy projects and Vice President - Education. He was elected President in 2015.

Kenneth holds a Chartered Banker MBA from Bangor University and a BSc in Banking and Finance from the London Institute of Banking and Finance.

International Recognition for ifs Malta at Annual Dinner

ifs Malta has just received international recognition during our annual dinner. Read about it on the Times of Malta article published on December 10th.

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