Maltese law, specifically the Trust and Trustees Act, allows companies under a licence from the Malta Financial Services Authority to provide Trust and Fiduciary (nominee) services. The licencing process is aimed to guarantee the highest level of professionalism and security to the beneficial owners. MGI Fiduciary Services Limited is licenced to provide Fiduciary (nominee) services, which does not include acting as a trustee in terms of Article 43(8)(ii) of the Trusts and Trustees Act.
A shareholder, be it an individual or corporate entity, may wish not to have its name shown as the owner of shares in a particular company. The nominee will instead be documented on the public Malta Business Registry (MBR) in the name of the beneficial owner, but the latter will still be the owner of the shares, and be entitled to dividends. In view of legal requirements, the Business registry will still be notified through the appropriate prescribed form of the beneficial ownership, but which details will be kept in a separate Register of Beneficial owners not available to the general public. There are requirements to notify the Registrar of any changes in the beneficial ownership structure, which MGI Fiduciary Services Limited may provide as part of the services given to clients.
Thus, a fiduciary relationship provides a limited degree of confidentiality. However, a fiduciary relationship can never provide absolute anonymity in view of the recently published Companies Act (Register of beneficial Owners) Regulations 2017 (the Regulations) – legal Notice 374 of 2019, that gives restricted access to a limited number of users, including FIAU, National Tax authorities, subject persons, and any person or organisation that can prove to have a legitimate interest to the Registrar.