On 3 May 2023, the MDB published its Annual Report for 2022. The Annual Report was launched in the presence of Minister for Finance and Employment Hon. Clyde Caruana, and sheds light of how throughout its first five years of operations, the Bank has assisted more than 700 businesses which employ some 40,000 persons, and more than 430 students, by facilitating over €580 million in favourable financing.
The Bank’s various financing schemes have continued to provide an effective mechanism to mobilise private investment, thereby facilitating access to finance, supporting local businesses in their quest for growth and innovation.
Prof Josef Bonnici, MDB Chairman, noted with satisfaction that despite the difficult operating environment that characterised the economy and financial sector in recent years, the Bank has continued to strengthen its financial performance, and for the first time generated an operating profit while the risk profile in the Bank’s portfolio remained low and stable.
“This is the result of prudent operations based on appropriate financial practices in line with sound banking principles”, Prof Bonnici explained.
The MDB Chairman also recalled how during 2022, the Bank swiftly responded to the economic ramifications of the ongoing war in Ukraine through three facilities, without derailing efforts in supporting new investment.
Referring to the two new flagship schemes launched late in 2022, the SME Guarantee Scheme and the Guaranteed Co-lending Scheme, Prof Bonnici noted how both schemes are tailored to the specific circumstances of local businesses, whilst prioritising those investment projects that contribute to a greener and more digitally oriented economy, in line with the key objectives of the Government and the European Union.
MDB Chief Executive Officer Paul V Azzopardi highlighted the economic impact of the MDB’s operations, explaining that the Bank currently contributes to around 13% of all the banking system’s outstanding loans to Maltese businesses. Mr Azzopardi shared details of how in order to widen its portfolio, the MDB has sought the support of the EIF and also embarked on the ambitious process of becoming a direct implementing partner of InvestEU. The MDB is committed to strengthen its role as Malta’s gateway for EU financial instruments as this will enable more risk taking and an enhanced benefit pass-through to businesses.
“To achieve this objective, while also strengthening the role of the Bank in Malta’s economy, we continue to make a significant investment to ensure a high level of protection to EU funds, including on matters related to internal control systems, the accounting system, and other aspects including anti-money laundering, tax avoidance, data protection, financial and credit risk management and sound governance structures”, Mr Azzopardi explained.
Minister of Finance and Employment, Hon. Clyde Caruana said: “The MDB has proven to be a key player in the economic stability and growth of our country, even though we had the pandemic and a war hamper our momentum. It is nothing short of remarkable that the MDB managed to achieve self-sustainability and become an integral financial institution in just five years. I am also pleased that the MDB have their targets aligned with ours, with human capital ranking high on their agenda. The investment in human capital and in sustainability are crucial aspects that will allow our country, and its institutions, to grow. As the Government works on the future of energy and sustainability, we will be making the utmost to provide substantial investment opportunities in these fields and in Malta’s exclusive economic zone. I look forward for these opportunities to come to fruition which will allow the MDB to play a key role in what we are expecting to be the largest investment opportunity for the Island.”