The Malta Independent 19 April 2024, Friday
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Former Super One chairman Alfred Mifsud to become Central Bank Governor

Neil Camilleri Wednesday, 25 May 2016, 09:12 Last update: about 9 years ago

Former Super One Chairman Alfred Mifsud will be made Central Bank Governor by the end of June, this newsroom can reveal. The post will be vacated by former PN minister Josef Bonnici.

Alfred Mifsud, an expert in financial matters, was last year made deputy Governor of the Central Bank by Prime Minister Joseph Muscat, a former employee of his.

He will be the tenth Governor of the Central bank and the third since Malta joined the EU and adopted the single currency. This has brought a culture change in monitory policy to which the local financial institutions needed to adhere.

Josef Bonnici

Michael C. Bonello

While former Governor Michael C. Bonello was instrumental in setting up the structures needed for a smooth transition under the new regime of the European Central Bank, Professor Bonnici served during the biggest post-war international financial crisis. Professor Bonnici, who served as economy minister under the Fenech Adami administrations, was appointed Governor by Prime Minister Lawrence Gonzi after serving a term in the court European of Auditors.

Alfred Mifsud will take the reins of the Central Bank at a time when the ECB is exerting pressure on Malta’s financial systems in an attempt to harmonise with other EU countries particularly Germany: indisputably the leader in European fiscal policy. While complying with EU financial regulations Malta has built its own financial incentives to create a strong financial services sector but the ECB continues to pressure the smallest EU member state irrespective of its size and economic realities. The next governor of the Central Bank needs to hold a strong stance both locally and on an EU level to make sure that monitory policy doesn’t hinder economic growth. 

Mr Mifsud has been involved in the financial services sector for over 45 years.  He was a Governor on the Board of the Malta Financial Services Authority between 1992 and 1996 and the Chairman of Mid-Med Bank plc between 1996 and 1998.

He is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Bankers of UK, Fellow of the Salzburg Global Seminar and holds a Masters in Financial Services from Sheffield University.

From 2000 to 2014 he was the Chairman of Crystal Finance Investments which he founded in cooperation with UBS Switzerland. Prime Minister and Labour Leader Joseph Muscat was once his employee at Crystal Finance.

The company was in the news in 2014 after several clients complained to the MFSA that they had lost money invested through the company. Crystal Finance had acknowledged that some losses had taken place but said reports that ‘millions’ had been lost were sensational and insisted that it was inevitable in investments that from time to time certain products did not perform up to expectations.

Apart from serving as chairman of the Labour Party media, Mr Mifsud had also contested the 4th and 7th districts on the PL ticket in the 2003 general election but failed to get elected. Mr Mifsud is known for having been critical of Labour’s anti-EU stand and, in 2004 he was warned by the party’s vigilance board that action would be taken against him unless he stopped “harming” the party through his writings.

He has also been a columnist for The Malta Independent on Sunday for many years.

Mr Mifsud had told this paper back in October 2013, after news of his upcoming appointment as Deputy Governor came to light, that he would consider taking up the post.  He was officially appointed to the role in May 2015. At the time he became the central bank’s second deputy governor, along with Mr Alexander Demarco. His primary role was to focus on the bank’s monetary policy.

The role of second CMB deputy governor was created by amendments to the Central Bank Act. At the time the Opposition had claimed that this was done in order to provide more jobs for those close to the Prime Minister.

But the government had insisted that the creation of the post was mandated by the EU. The creation of the post had also been welcomed by the European Central Bank.  

Sources within the Office of the Prime Minister told this newsroom that the appointment will be sealed in a meeting between Mr Mifsud and the Prime Minister scheduled for the 10th June. It is also rumoured that the Government will be offering a high-ranking post in the financial sector to Josef Bonnici once he terminates his post as Governor. 


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