Does Malta cater for trusts?

Yes indeed. Trusts are regulated in terms of Maltese law under the Trust and Trustees Act and are a very popular instrument both in estate planning as well as the commercial field.

Do you require to be licensed to offer Trustee and Fiduciary services in Malta?

As a general principle to offer Trustee as well as fiduciary services one needs to hold a license issued by the Malta Financial Services Authority. In fact we offer these services through our licensed entity Fenlex Trust Services Limited.

However a foreign entity not holding such licence does not require to be authorised by the Malta Financial Services Authority to act qua trustee so long as it does not become resident in Malta, nor operates in or from Malta. Where there is such a trustee holding property on trust – being a trustee that is therefore not authorised by the Malta Financial Services Authority locally – it is obliged to appoint certain authorised persons or a notary locally as its ‘qualified person’, to essentially assume responsibility on that trustee’s behalf for all its obligations in Malta in terms of AML, tax, etc. Therefore such trustee would require to appoint a qualified person where the trust property includes any of the following assets:

  1. Securities or interests in or issued by a commercial partnership registered in Malta [this includes Maltese companies], other than securities which are listed or traded on a regulated market or on a multilateral system established in Malta or in a recognised jurisdiction, or
  2. Immovable property in Malta.

Otherwise, the foreign trustee not so licensed by the local authority may act as trustee from that does not hold any such property without any qualified person engagement being put in place.

What is required to set up a trust in Malta?

As in the case of companies, the first process of setting up a Trust in Malta is the collation of due diligence on the settlor, protector (if any) and beneficiaries. We then together with Fenech and Fenech Advocates assist in the drafting of Trust Deeds, Letter of wishes and all other documents required to set up the Trust.