The Malta Institute of Accountants has visited Nationalist Party (PN) Leader Bernard Grech to discuss issues of national concern and actions to address them.
This was the first meeting between the Institute and the PN since the election of Bernard Grech at its helm.
MIA President Fabio Axisa said that Malta’s reputation is the major challenge the country and the accountancy profession is facing right now, and accountancy professionals are at the forefront to repair it. Mr Axisa highlighted the Institute’s initiatives in this respect.
“The Institute is not satisfied with the current regulatory infrastructure,” said Mr Axisa, explaining proposals made by the MIA to strengthen the infrastructure surrounding the Accountancy Board.
“As the voice of the biggest profession in Malta, we insist on the application of highest standards and expect all regulatory bodies to function effectively, and fairly, with complete autonomy.”
The two delegations discussed the threat of losing USD correspondent banking for our financial services sector and agreed on the pressing need of a national strategic financial services plan that goes beyond the outcome of the Moneyval assessment.
“Malta’s financial market risks becoming isolated in the event of an unsatisfactory Moneyval outcome and without USD correspondent banking,” warned Mr Axisa.
“The country’s economy might be severely impacted, and the Institute urges the political class to show maturity in building a common front and consensus with respect to the financial services strategy.”
Bernard Grech said that the PN has an obligation to hold the Government to account, but it wants to work towards a national consensus on the financial services agenda.
He said that a common strategy must not stop with political parties and the Institute of Accountants has a key role to play in shaping it.
Mr Axisa pointed out that the MIA conducts programmes to keep raising the quality of the profession and that action will always be taken against members who misbehave.
He said that the absolute majority of its members uphold the highest standards and practitioners are, many times, disproportionately targeted in view of a minor section of the profession.
“We welcome stricter regulations to help restore Malta’s reputation, but all professions, regulatory bodies and authorities need to raise the bar,” said the MIA President.
“Ultimately, standards need to be enforced by all concerned and the tone at the top within the governing and regulatory authorities makes a major difference.”
Mr Axisa was accompanied by MIA Vice President David Delicata, Secretary Noel Mizzi, and CEO Maria Cauchi Delia. PN spokesperson for the economy Claudio Grech, spokesperson for financial services Kristy Debono, and general election candidate Graham Bencini also joined the meeting.
About the MIA
The Malta Institute of Accountants (MIA) is the voice of the accountancy profession in Malta, providing professional guidance, technical support and continuing professional education to over 3,000 accountants.
MIA is committed to attracting talented individuals to the profession and invests heavily in the process of educating prospective accountants.
The Institute also helps to promote a proper understanding of the role and the value of the accountancy profession to the Maltese public in general and, in particular, to the local business community.
The MIA forms part of leading international accounting organisations and it represents Maltese accountants in these prestigious fora.
Fabio Axisa - President of the Malta Institute of Accountants / Photo taken from miamalta.org