Lawyers, accountants face tougher rules, higher costs to act as company directors
An army of warranted professionals in Malta – accountants, auditors, lawyers and notaries – are balking at new rules removing their exemption from onerous authorisation by the financial regulator (MFSA) to act as company officers.
The pressure on Malta to tighten up its corporate governance rules by the Council of Europe’s Moneyval, will mean warranted professionals must be authorised before accepting directorships on companies or providing the services of company secretary.
The reform will mean that any warranted accountant or accountancy firm carrying out corporate services “by way of business”, will be subjected to a market entry or licensing requirement. Previously, warranted accountants and firms were exempted on the basis of their warranted status and the fact that the accountancy profession is regulated by an independent body, the Accountancy Board. This major change also applies to the legal profession, as lawyers were also exempted prior to the reform.