The Maltese Financial Services Industry’s Perception on the Regulators: An Empirical Analysis
In this study, we analyse the perception of players within the financial services industry with regards to the Maltese industry regulators, specifically the Financial Intelligence Analysis Unit (FIAU), the Malta Financial Services Authority (MFSA), the Central Bank of Malta (CBM) and the Information and Data Protection Commission (IDPC). We used the Five Factor Model of personality (FFM), which is a hierarchical organisation of personality traits in terms of five basic dimensions, which are conscientiousness, agreeableness, neuroticism, openness to experience and extraversion. Results show that in general, both the regulated entities and the regulators gave high scores for each of the five traits, indicating that the overall perception of regulators in Malta is positive. From the perspective of the regulated entities, conscientiousness emerged as the key trait, with openness/intellect ranking the lowest. Conversely, regulators rated themselves highest on openness/intellect, with the lowest score given to extraversion. The qualitative results indicate that regulators needed to 1) improve on communication with the regulated entities, which is generally very formal, 2) curb high staff turnover, and 3) strengthen their efficiency in taking timely decisions – resulting from unnecessary bureaucracy. On the positive side, results revealed that the regulators are known to be flexible and ready to listen.