St Julian’s Maritime Finance's freshly granted license to provide non-banking financial services has been welcomed by key stakeholders who see this new development as a clear sign that Malta's flourishing maritime centre has been further strengthened.
As is well known in maritime circles, and less well known outside them, Malta has become the flag of choice for owners of large yachts in Europe and the Mediterranean. Over the past decades, building on its long and varied maritime tradition, Malta has also developed a very strong legal and regulatory platform that has enabled the Malta Flag to become a reputable international shipping register, and Malta's financial services authority a credible regulatory and licensing body that complements the shipping register.
Malta Financial Services Authority license holders St Julian’s Maritime Finance operate within the marine sector providing a range of client-focused finance services covering customised and attractive financial lease solutions for European yacht owners.
Former HSBC Europe Deputy CEO, Tony Mahoney, is Chair of the Board at St Julian’s Maritime Finance, having had a very successful career in banking, first for 27 years with HSBC, and later in Oman as CEO at Bank Dhofar where he formulated and drove the 'Best in Gulf Plan' that helped transform the bank and led to plus 20% growth rates. Mahoney now chairs automotive, IT and advisory companies alongside his role at St Julian’s Maritime Finance which he says gives him great pride.
St Julian’s Maritime Finance Limited, offers a one-stop-shop for yacht services including operating and financial lease solutions as well as complimentary services such as vessel registration, crewing, maintenance, and repair. It provides both “asset backed finance” as well as registration and other client-specific services. This allows owners to acquire and use their yachts in a more efficient and economical manner.
Several marinas around Malta are situated within the island’s natural inlets which are sheltered in neat creeks that offer protection from harsh weather conditions. Likewise, St Julian’s Maritime Finance is a safe creek for owners seeking the convenience and cost savings of working with yachting and finance professionals.
St Julian’s Maritime Finance provides asset-backed leasing arrangements to clients: Financial leasing up to €1 million and operating leases between €1 million and €10 million.
George Vella, Chairman, FinanceMalta, explained: "As a maritime nation, across the years Malta has been successful in turning itself into a highly sought-after yachting location with a range of innovative services supporting it, including this newly licensed unique financial product. FinanceMalta's role is to promote Malta as an international financial centre and this new marine finance license allows for new business and networks to spring up around it."
CEO Willem Steenkamer (left) and Chairman Tony Mahoney (right)
Tony Mahoney, Chair of St Julian’s Maritime Finance, said: "We hold a special position in the European market, with a licensed financial offering that can confidently be deployed at multiple levels. Malta’s competitive cost structure has helped the island to compete and corporate structures put yacht owners in a very strong position to enjoy their wealth while saving considerably on VAT and other costs associated with yacht ownership."
Dr. Andrew Massa, Senior Associate, DF Advocates, remarked: “Malta’s professional maritime community welcomes the news that St Julian’s Maritime Finance has been issued with a license to provide non-banking financial services aimed at providing prospective yacht owners an alternative financing solution which shall certainly continue to strengthen Malta’s status as a superyacht hub.”
Willem Steenkamer, St Julian’s Maritime Finance CEO, commented: "In recent years, Malta has put in place specific legislation that takes into consideration the distinctive requirements of the local yacht and superyacht industry, and that also tries to make the process of registering private and commercial yachts under the Malta Flag an attractive and competitive proposition. This is what our new nonbanking financial license helps us to plug into, giving options on financing that simply didn't exist before and putting in place a pillar of the maritime financial ecosystem that various stakeholders can take advantage of."
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St Julian's Maritime Finance is regulated by the MFSA under the Financial Institutions Act (Cap. 376 of The Laws of Malta) and authorised to carry out services of financial leasing, bearing MFSA Authorisation ID: SJMF-FILI-16904.