Financial firms are flocking to Malta which has led to the island’s financial services sector doubling in size in the past five years.
As the rest of Europe has had to endure economic turmoil, financial firms are increasingly opting to relocate to the island, including Qualifying Recognised Overseas Pension Scheme providers.
Since April 2010, Malta has opened 10 QROPS pensions.
The island continues to be a favourite destination for millions of pounds of UK pension investments as international independent financial advisers (IFAs), such as deVere Group, report a surge in British expats dumping their home-based schemes in favour of more tax effective QROPS that offer more flexible investment options.
Those moving to Malta point to membership of the European Union, no-nonsense regulation and a host of beneficial tax treaties signed with other nations as reasons for relocating.
In addition, Malta’s historic ties with the UK also encourage British investors; along with the ease of conducting business on the island as English is their national language.
Now Malta’s National Statistics Office has revealed that the financial services sector was responsible for 8.5% of their gross domestic product (GDP) last year.
That is a rise from the 4.5% recorded for 2008, which was the year of the global financial crisis that saw several banks in Iceland going bust, British banks bailed out by the government and the New York-based bank Lehman Brothers collapsing.
The performance of Malta’s financial sector, particularly in offering of QROPS to British expats, is all the more impressive since economic experts say that firms involved have a wider contribution to the Maltese economy.
The figures are hard to calculate, but some estimate that the overall contribution to GDP by the island’s financial services is around 15%.
With a population of 150,000 people, the continuing success of financial firms in Malta is leading to a boom in job creation and the sector now employs 9,000 people, up from 6,200 at the end of 2008.
That means financial firms are responsible for employing 6% of the island’s working population.
Joe Bannister, the chairman of Malta’s Financial Services Authority, said: “There’s an additional 1,000 professional jobs, such as legal, accounting and so on, and 500 administrative jobs are estimated to have been created as a result of demand from the financial services sector over the same five-year period.”
If you are interested in transfering your UK pension to a QROPS and would like to be put in touch with a qualified financial adviser, please contact us via the contact form here for a referral.