About Malta Development Bank

About Malta Development Bank

The Malta Development Bank (MDB) was established on 24 November 2017 when the Malta Development Bank Act, 2017 came into force (Act No XXI of 2017 – CAP 574). It commenced operations on 11 December 2017 when the Board of Directors was appointed and held its first meeting. The MDB is fully owned by the Government of Malta.

Mission of the MDB

The MDB shall contribute towards sustainable economic development that benefits the Maltese people in line with public policy objectives by:

  • promoting inclusive and environmentally sustainable economic growth
  • supporting infrastructure development 
  • linking entrepreneurship, investment and economic growth to improved living conditions, a higher quality of life, and better social inclusion.
    Strategic Objective

    The MDB’s strategic objective is to offer financing facilities that support productive and viable operations where the market is unable or unwilling to accommodate such activities on its own in whole or part. 

The MDB’s activities focus on complementing and supplementing the operations of market players in the provision of financing facilities, particularly to SMEs, infrastructure projects that contribute to national or regional development, and projects which are socially-oriented, energy efficient and environment friendly.

The MDB’s remit of activities

The MDB performs a promotional role in line with public policy. The MDB’s remit of activities covers a wide range of possible operations where there is evidence of market failure. In general terms, the MDB is engaged in the following priority areas:

  • Private Sector Development, in particular financing the private sector through innovative financing, credit enhancement, venture capital, advisory function;
  • Skills and Technology, in particular sustaining competitiveness by investment in innovation, skills, knowledge-generation and technology;
  • Infrastructure development of regional or national importance;
  • Green Economy, in particular supporting clean energy and energy efficiency projects, sustainable transport, and water resources;
  • Community Services, in particular supporting social enterprises operating community services in such sectors as education, health and housing.

The MDB’s governance structure

MDB Board of Directors

The MDB is run by a Board of Directors consisting of a Chairperson and four Directors appointed by the Minister (all from the private non-bank sector) as well as two independent Directors appointed by the Minister on the recommendation of the Malta Council for Economic and Social Development (MCESD). The Chairperson shall be appointed after consultation with the Opposition.

The Chairman and the two independent Directors shall hold office for a period of six years and may be re-appointed. The other Directors shall hold office for five years and may be re-appointed.

The Board of Directors shall exercise its mandate independently and in an autonomous manner and shall not seek or receive instructions from the Government or any other public authority.

The members of the Board of Directors are:

  • Prof Josef Bonnici as Chairman
  • Prof Rose Marie Azzopardi 
  • Dr Michele Cardinali
  • Mr Steve Ellul
  • Mr William Spiteri Bailey
  • Mr Anthony Valvo
  • Prof Philip von Brockdorff.

Internal Board Committees

The MDB’s governance structure also includes a Risk Committee, an Ethics and Governance Committee, a Remuneration Committee, an Audit Committee and such other committees as the Board of Directors may require.

In terms of accountability, the Malta Development Bank Act obliges the MDB to present its Annual Report and Financial Statements to Parliament by not later than four months after the end of its financial year.

The MDB may also be subject to inquiry by the Auditor General.

Management Team

The MDB has a team of professionals in its various functional areas which is led by a management team. The Management Team is guided by the directions provided by the Board of Directors to ensure that the Bank meets its strategic objectives in an effective manner. 

The members of the Management Team are:

  • ​Mr Paul V. Azzopardi, Chief Executive Officer
  • ​Mr Saviour Busuttil, Chief Corporate Services Officer​​
  • Mr Joseph Darmanin, Chief Business Development Officer
  • Ms Joanne Dimech, Chief Finance Officer
  • Ms Moira Falzon, Chief Internal Auditor​​
  • Mr Glen Lethridge, Chief IT Officer
  • Mr Tyrone Mizzi Navarro, Chief Risk Officer
  • Dr Bernadette Muscat, Chief Legal and Compliance Officer
  • Mr Kevin Vassallo, Chief Projects and Treasury Management Officer
  • ​Ms Maria Xuereb, Chief Credit Officer

    Supervisory Board

    The MDB is subject to the prudential oversight, regulation and supervision of an independent Supervisory Board appointed by the Minister in terms of article 37(1) of the Malta Development Bank Act.

    The Supervisory Board shall consist of a maximum of six members who shall include officials from the Malta Financial Services Authority, the Central Bank of Malta, the Ministry for Finance, and two independent professionals with banking or regulatory experience. The Chairperson is appointed by the Minister from among the two independent professionals after consultation with the Opposition.

    The members of the MDB Supervisory Board are:

    • Mr John Cassar W​hite as Chairman
    • Mr Oliver Bonello, Deputy Governor, Central Bank of Malta
    • Dr Christopher Buttigieg, Chief Executive Officer ad interim and Chief Officer Supervision, Malta Financial Services Authority
    • Mr Paul Zahra, Permanent Secretary, Ministry for Finance
    • Mr Chris Cilia, independent professional.


    Equity: The MDB’s operations are funded from the paid-up capital provided by the Government in terms of Article 10 of the MDB Act. After being launched in 2017 with an initial paid-up equity of €30 million, the Bank’s paid-up capital was increased by €10 million in each of the three subsequent years to reach €60 million in 2021, in line with the Bank’s business plan.

    Bi-lateral loans from international institutions: The MDB supplements the paid-up capital with bilateral borrowing from international development institutions. To this effect, in 2019 the MDB signed a €45 million global loan agreement with the KfW Group. In addition, toward the end of 2019, another loan agreement of €50 million was signed with the European Investment Bank under the Multiple Beneficiary Intermediated Loan (MBIL) programme. On 11 December 2020, this EIB loan was topped up to €60 million. These funds will be utilised by the MDB to finance the facilities to support SMEs, mid-caps and infrastructure projects by private and public-sector entities. The support of the EIB and KfW enables a transfer of benefit in the form of a lower interest to the final beneficiaries. 

    Government Guarantee 

    Article 5 of the MDB Act provides that the Government shall guarantee up to 100% of all the obligations of the Bank and up to 100% of the loans, facilities or guarantees issued by the Bank. In line with the indicative targets specified in the MOU signed between the MDB and the Ministry for Finance on 16 February 2018 as per Article 5(2) of the MDB Act, the Government Guarantee in favour of the Bank has been increased gradually in line with the Bank’s business growth. At the end of 2021, it stood at €150 million. Some 70% of these guarantees have been earmarked to cover the two main international borrowing operations with the EIB and KfW, while the balance is intended for other prospective operations which the MDB shall be carrying out for its own account. In addition to the above guarantees, the Government also issued guarantees specifically for the temporary liquidity support facilities which the MDB is carrying out as agent of the Government to address the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and the Ukraine crisis.