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February 03, 2021
Buying property or starting a business in Malta (or both) is hugely appealing for many reasons: low set up costs, attractive tax rates and incentives and a flexible, resourceful work force. It’s also, of course, a beautiful place to live and work. Malta is tiny, making it a good testing ground for a business and, well, it also means that a long commute doesn’t exist. It’s conveniently located with well-established routes to Europe and North Africa. Along with the delicious food, friendly population and year-round great weather, there’s really very little to dampen the spirits of an entrepreneur with a vision… except… the long hard road to opening a bank account.
When a company is setting up for the first time the relevant service providers involved will do the heavy lifting – and they do it well. This stage can usually be completed in the space of a few days. However, for new companies coming to do business in Malta there’s a pre-requisite to open and hold an operational bank account. The company in question must contact the bank directly to present the company details. If the bank decides to proceed, then an appointment is set up which involves going through all relevant paperwork in detail and, assuming it’s in order, this is when the waiting game begins. This waiting time lasts approximately 2-4 months. Yes, months.
Real estate brokers in Malta mostly cater to foreign buyers. In the case of acquiring a property or properties in Malta, a prospective buyer must pay an initial 10% deposit in a local account until the sale closes. But the catch-22 here is that opening the bank account in which to deposit the money in the first place is very difficult and, as in the above case of starting a business, has a frustratingly long wait time.
As a company with offices in Malta and London we have seen the sharp end of the process with potential new business and property owners and brolers approaching us as a solution to the dual problems of 1. opening bank account in the first place and 2. getting it done in a time period more suited to the expectations of today’s society and markets. i.e.: now.
The challenge in Malta is not that there’s not a willingness to encourage and support foreign business or property ownership, it’s a matter of the institutions not having caught up with the times. Perhaps there’s been no need to leverage because there’s no alternatives to get traditional institutions thinking about how things could be done differently. But fintech and neobanks do provide a viable alternative. A wamo business account removes the obstacles faced not only by potential business and property owners but by local real estate brokers who grapple with the frustrations of paving the way for foreign investment on a daily basis.
Opening a wamo business account takes minutes not months. Individuals will need to prove their and their company’s identity and provide relevant information, of course, but this is done from the comfort of their own home or office (no need to make and wait for an appointment at a bank) and, again, takes minutes. wamo accounts are secure and payments can be made in a choice of currencies 24/7 in near-realtime. This change in process is set to have a profound impact on how business can be done and property acquired in Malta. It’s exciting.
To open a business account visit our website; get in touch if you’d like to talk further, or say hi on social. We look forward to hearing from you and helping make your Maltese dreams come true.