Malta’s reputation as one of Europe’s most attractive banking jurisdictions is well deserved. It has some of the region’s healthiest banks - ratings agency Fitch reports the country has the largest liquidity coverage in the EU. It boasts a reputable stock exchange, excellent infrastructure, competitive tax rates, and a well-regarded regulator in the MFSA.
The sector is also highly competitive, with a wide variety of banks and financial institutions supporting different parts of the market. There are almost 30 banks operating in the country, which has a population of just half a million.
So, if you are looking to open a bank account in Malta, how should you choose between these different players? In this comprehensive overview of Malta banks, you will learn more about the country’s major banking institutions, and the markets that they serve.
A comprehensive overview of Malta banks
One of the great strengths of Malta’s banking sector is its breadth and depth. We have categorised Malta’s banks into the following niches to help you to drill down into the sectors you’re interested in:
- Domestic Maltese banks (retail and commercial)
- Online, digital and fintech Malta banks
- Commercial Malta banks
- International banks in Malta
- Central bank, regulatory and development bank
Domestic Maltese banks
Malta’s domestic retail and commercial banks include some of the best-known and long established financial institutions in the Mediterranean. Domestic retail and commercial banks provide a range of services, including current accounts, savings, mortgage lending, personal loans, business banking, corporate financing and other common products.
Bank of Valletta
The Bank of Valletta is Malta’s oldest financial services provider. Headquartered in Santa Verena, the bank targets all major markets, including retail, corporate and wealth management.
All standard banking services are provided, including credit and debit cards, mobile banking, investment funds, various loans (mortgages,vehicle loans, student finance etc.), as well as insurance. The bank has the largest network of branches (39) and ATMs across the islands.
Learn more here: Bank of Valletta
Lombard is another long-established Maltese bank, with headquarters in Valletta. It offers universal banking for retail, corporate and private clients.
Lombard Bank offers all the banking services that you would expect, including current accounts, debit and credit cards, consumer and business loans, savings accounts, trade finance and more. These services are offered through its 11 branches across Malta.
Learn more here: Lombard Bank
Launched in 2008, BNF Bank (formerly Banif Bank) is one of the newer local retail banks. Headquartered in Gzira, BNF’s retail banking services include all standard offerings, including current accounts, credit and debit cards, mortgages and personal loans. Its business banking services focus primarily on family-owned businesses and SMEs.
Learn more here: BNF Bank
Based in Birkikara, APS Bank is one of Malta’s oldest credit institutions (launched in 1910). It is another universal provider, offering retail banking, wealth management and corporate banking services.
With 11 branches across Malta, APS Bank offers all the standard services you’d expect, including current accounts, credit and debit cards, student loans, mortgages, consumer loans, plus various savings accounts.
Learn more here: APSBank
Izola Bank is privately owned by a Belgian family and has been operating as a bank in Malta since 1994. Their business banking arm focuses on financing for SMEs and large companies in Malta (and Belgium). Izola’s consumer banking arm is mainly focused on a variety of savings accounts.
Learn more here: Izola Bank
Launched in 2010, IIG Bank (Malta) offers a wide range of services, including retail (two branches), business and corporate banking, and wealth management. However, their main area of expertise is international trade financing. They offer a wide range of services, including credit, currency exchange, current and business accounts, remittances and settlements, and more.
Learn more here: IIG Bank (Malta)
Since the late 2000’s, Malta has become home to a variety of online-only and digital banks. These providers offer financial services to both private and business clients in Malta. They offer many of the same products as traditional banks, but without operating physical branches.
Xace is a global banking alternative with a major footprint in Malta. The digital-only payment institution focuses primarily on business banking, particularly for underserved industries such as iGaming, Esports and eCommerce. That said, it does also offer retail services to consumers.
A variety of products and services are available, including virtual debit cards, multi-currency accounts, FX and cross-border payments, fast payments and personalised customer support.
Learn more here: Xace
Based in Sliema, MeDirect is a Europe-wide online bank focused primarily on personal banking services (they also offer corporate services to medium and large businesses). Their consumer banking products include debit cards, investment options and saving accounts.
Learn more here: MeDirect
Headquartered in Msida, Novum Bank is a private credit institution that was launched in 2009. It offers a variety of prepaid cards (via its Money2Go brand) and microloans to consumers across Europe (via its Cashper brand). In future, the company plans to expand its retail banking services too.
Learn more here: Novum Bank
There is a wide variety of commercial banks in Malta that offer services to different industries – everything from shipping to agriculture, tourism to export finance and beyond.
Launched in 2014 and based in Sliema, ECCM offers a variety of banking services to international corporate clients. It provides payment services, administration of securities, deposits, short and long-term loans, and marine finance.
Finaro is an Israeli fintech that launched in 2007, with a banking operation centre in Valletta. The company offers a variety of payment solutions, with a particular focus on global eCommerce merchants. Finaro supports payments in multiple currencies and payment methods, and tailors solutions to their customers’ needs.
Learn more here: Finaro
Headquartered in Malta and operating since 2010, FCM Bank is a business-focused bank that specialises in corporate lending - real-estate financing is a particular specialism. They also offer FX services to their customers. The bank operates in several other European countries, including Germany, the UK and Czech Republic. They do offer some personal banking too – mainly through their savings accounts.
Learn more here: FCM Bank
Sparkasse Bank Malta
Launching in Malta in the year 2000, Sparkasse Bank Malta is focused on the private banking sector and corporate banking. Based in Sliema, their services include deposits, payments, multi-currency accounts, depositary and custody services, and a variety of investment products.
Learn more here: Sparkasse Bank Malta
AgriBank is an agriculture-sector focused bank, based in the UK and Malta. They offer a variety of services to agriculture clients and renewable energy projects. AgriBank offers loans, leases and hire purchase agreements, as well as corporate accounts for their customers.
Learn more here: AgriBank
Multitiude Bank has been operating in Malta since 2012 (it was known as Ferratum until 2022), and operates across the EU. The credit institution offers various kinds of micro-lending to both consumers and businesses, as well as payment services and savings accounts. Multitude offers many of these services through fintech brands, including CapitalBox (business lending), SweepBank (shopping and financing app), and Ferratum (for consumer lending).
Learn more here: Multitude Bank
Based in St Julian’s, Merkanti Bank is a specialty trade and structured finance bank. Their services include trade finance, factoring, structured (export) finance, various payment services and guarantees.
Learn more here: Merkanti Bank
Malta has long been a destination for international banks, thanks to its regulatory environment, membership of the eurozone, and location – it’s at the crossroads of Europe, North Africa and the Middle East.
HSBC has had a presence in Malta for three decades (operating under different names in the 1990s), and offers universal banking. Services include retail banking, wealth management, small and commercial business banking and insurance. With 12 branches across Malta, HSBC offers a wide range of services and products, including current accounts, credit and debit cards, loans, mortgages, foreign exchange and other common products.
Learn more here: HSBC Malta
Founded in 1948, Akbank is a Turkish financial institution that now offers universal banking services. Its St Julians branch offers consumer banking, SME and commercial banking, private and corporate banking. Akbank provides a wide range of services, from deposits to loans, financing to FX. Akbank also offers specialised expat banking services.
Learn more here: Akbank Malta
Credit Europe Bank
Founded in the Netherlands in 1994, Credit Europe Bank’s Malta branch is based in Sliema. They focus on corporate banking (mainly for SMEs), international trade and commodity finance and some retail banking for private individuals. Some of their key services include supply chain finance, trade finance, corporate lending, marine finance and project finance.
Learn more here: Credit Europe Bank
Central bank, regulatory and development bank
If you are looking to open a Malta Bank account, it’s valuable to know about the country’s national banks and regulatory bodies.
Central Bank of Malta
Established in 1968, Malta’s central bank is a vital institution in the country’s economy and is closely linked into the Eurosystem (the eurozone’s monetary authority). Its main purpose is to maintain pricestability in Malta. It also conducts economic analysis of the country’s economy, advises on macro-prudential policy, supports the country’s financial markets, manages the circulation of coins and notes, holds various financial assets, and conducts other central bank activities.
Learn more here: Central Bank of Malta
Malta Financial Services Authority (MFSA)
As the single regulator for Malta’s entire financial services sector, the MFSA oversees banks, financial institutions, insurers, investment companies, securities, exchanges, trusts, pension schemes and virtual financial assets (i.e., crypto currencies). It reviews business practices, advises Malta’s government on various policies and legislation, and investigates unfair practices and financial crime.
Learn more here: MFSA
Malta Development Bank (MDB)
An entirely government-owned bank, the MDB provides financial support for Maltese public policy. Its purpose it to promote economic growth, infrastructure development, social inclusion and living conditions across the country. The MDB offers financing to a wide range of customers - primarily SMEs and public/private sector projects. The MDB’s products include loans, guarantees, equity participation, underwriting and advisory services.
Learn more here: Malta Development Bank
Malta banks – depth and breadth
Malta’s banking ecosystem provides customers with a wide range of products and services, with operators catering to everything from general retail and business banking, through to wealth management and financing for niche sectors. The depth and breadth of Malta’s banking industry means the sector can support the country’s dynamic economy and engage in international markets.
At Xace, we provide digital-only banking solutions for private individuals, SMEs and corporates, with a focus on emerging sectors such as iGaming, eSports, influencer accounts and beyond. We’re proud to be located in Malta, and we are the official payment provider to the Malta National Team and the Malta Football Association.
Explore our digital solutions here.