The world was a very different place in 2018 when Sparkasse Bank was given an Irish banking licence. Despite the fact that Brexit was on the horizon, the United Kingdom was still a member of the European Union’s Single Market for Financial Services (SMFS). Not all UK-based financial institutions have decided where to locate the headquarters of their European Union subsidiary. At the same time, a slew of financial centres were vying for the attention of prospective investors, such as Dublin, Amsterdam, Milan, Frankfurt, Luxembourg, and Paris, who were all trying to highlight the benefits that a British financial institution would receive if they established an EU subsidiary in their respective cities.
Paul Mifsud, the managing director of Sparkasse Bank Malta, stated the following in an article published shortly after the bank got its Irish banking licence: “Due to the country’s participation in the European Union and its English-speaking population, Ireland was an obvious choice for the bank. This was made possible by the bank’s existing links and contacts with various service providers in Ireland, which made the relocation and choice all the more viable.”
Although there are few funds domiciled in London, the city is still a significant international centre for asset management around the globe, and its closeness to Ireland made the decision to locate in Ireland even more compelling.
Irish fund manager Paul Mifsud considered the country to be a competitive market with a strong presence of key companies in the fund business, making it a suitable location for Sparkasse Bank Malta, which had just obtained an Irish licence to provide depository and custodial services for Irish funds. Following the United Kingdom’s exit from the European Union, the general director of Sparkasse Bank Malta believes that more businesses will choose to establish themselves in the Irish capital.
COVID-19 struck in March 2020, drastically altering the world’s way of life and conducting business. Prior to that, in January of 2020, the United Kingdom withdrew from the SMFS (and the EU), and shortly thereafter, Ireland modified its laws governing private funds, making this proposition even more appealing and competitive.
According to research produced by the think tank New Financial, 45 asset management businesses have established their EU operations in Dublin since Sparkasse Bank Malta launched its Dublin headquarters. The positive macroeconomic climate, the English language, and Ireland’s membership in the European Union were all listed as factors for the move. The asset management market in Dublin is far stronger in the latter weeks of 2021 than it was two years earlier, when the pandemic struck, according to recent data. The fund sector, which was valued at €3 trillion in 2009, has nearly quadrupled in value to more than €5.2 trillion in 2019. Dublin is still the second most important centre for fund management in the European Union. Although no data for 2021 is available at this time, the increase in the number of firms alone makes it plausible to expect that the sector’s worth will have grown by that time in the future.
Even though a great deal has changed since Sparkasse Bank Malta founded its Dublin office and obtained an Irish banking licence, Paul Mifsud’s assertion remains true today. Many British organisations chose Dublin as the location for their EU headquarters because of the English language, the EU, and private fund–friendly legislation. The established regulatory structure in place in the SMFS made the transition reasonably simple and straightforward. “All of this has led to the sensible decision of establishing a base in Ireland,” asserts Mifsud.
Sparkasse Bank Malta Ltd (commonly known as Sparkasse Malta) is a financial institution based in Malta that was formed in 2000.
Sparkasse Bank is a financial institution that offers banking, investing, depositary, and fund custody services. The Maltese Financial Services Authority has granted the bank permission to operate as a credit institution. Since 2019, the Dublin office, which was created in 2018, has been authorised by the Central Bank of Ireland to function as a depositary for Irish-registered investment funds, according to the Central Bank of Ireland.
Sparkasse Bank Malta’s banking and investing services are oriented toward corporate enterprises, private consumers, funds, asset managers, and other regulated investment entities, among other groups and individuals.