Reference Number: PR181458en, Press Release Issue Date: Jun 26, 2018


Launch of the Malta Islamic Finance Association: “Government’s efforts in the world of virtual currencies will complement Islamic finance, an area which will be further explored in the coming months” – Parliamentary Secretary Silvio Schembri


Parliamentary Secretary for Financial Services, Digital Economy and Innovation Silvio Schembri presided over the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding for the launch of the Malta Islamic Finance Association.


The MoU was signed by Reuben Buttigieg, President of Malta Islamic Finance Association and Sheikh Bilal Khan as Secretary General for Malta Islamic Finance Association.


“The Malta Islamic Finance Association will liaise with governments, quasi-governmental institutions, multilateral organisations, standard setting bodies, agencies and regulatory authorities. With the input of the stakeholders, as a government, we will be looking at drafting amendments to our legislation that will permit Islamic Financial Institutions to benefit from stronger links with EU member states, amongst other opportunities”, said Silvio Schembri.


Silvio Schembri said that the government’s efforts in the world of virtual currencies do compliment Islamic finance, an area which will be further explored in the coming months, and Malta can be a place for Islamic finance to incorporate and discover new technologies in its operations.


Sheikh Bilal Khan, as Secretary General for Malta Islamic Finance Association, said that in view of Malta being a pioneer in economic innovation given the issue of Brexit, Malta could be a hub for Islamic finance.


The MoU was signed during the conference entitled ‘Cryptocurrency consideration for management’ hosted by the Malta Institute of Management.


During the conference, Silvio Schembri explained that the 3 Bills—the Malta Digital Innovation Authority Bill, the Innovation Technological Arrangements and Services Bill, and the Virtual Asset Bill—will today pass through the 2nd reading. “We believe that the emergence of cryptocurrencies is here to stay and as a government we are anticipating the changes that cryptocurrencies may bring about in our daily lives”, said Schembri. He went on to add that authorities such as the MFSA already took a proactive stance and issued a public consultation to ensure investor protection and market integrity.  In fact, the MFSA is working on rules and regulations for cryptocurrencies and ICOs which will be issued soon.


Parliamentary Secretary Schembri said that the aim is to create the right environment for this new technology, DLT, to evolve.  Hence, this will eventually result in sustaining new economic segments such as Fintech.​