The President of Malta

Speech by HE George Vella, President of Malta during the Graduation Ceremony by the Institute of Financial Services, 30 May 2022.

Mr Kenneth Micallef, President of IFS

Executives from the Financial Sector Services

Esteemed graduates

Ladies and gentlemen

I am happy to be here today and to have the opportunity to share with you the joys of such a special occasion. Long days and months of study find their culmination today. It must surely have been no easy feat to juggle studies and the other challenges brought about by the COVID pandemic. I am sure that mature students with added family responsibilities such as the care of young children or elderly parents, must have found increased challenges to manage study commitments, and sustain harmonious relationships in the home.

Few other things in life are more satisfying than to work hard and reach a desired goal. This unique journey in life becomes an important developmental triumph when rewarded with professional tools, knowledge, and expertise. The important nexus between education and prospects of attaining sound professional skills is dependent on several variables. Most significant is the need to ensure that educational institutions provide state of the art training programs aimed at enriching students on a professional and inter-personal level.

Ladies and gentlemen,

In this context, I am proud to observe that the Institute of Financial Services, operating with success since the 1960s, has in no small way contributed to develop professional banking and financial services in Malta. Throughout the years, the IFS evolved into a strong training hub and established partnerships with distinguished institutions such as The European Banking & Financial Services Training Association. Recently, the Institute followed innovative pedagogical trends of shifting teaching to a virtual classroom, thus ensuring a more accessible approach. Together with a commitment for excellence, the IFS has been an incubator for hundreds of young minds and prospective professionals in finance.

Most importantly, I ask you realise that your educational journey in the financial and banking fields is propelling you into the world of work and potentially promoting you to higher and more lucrative working positions.  

As qualified professionals, you are now embarking on a career in which you have the opportunity to advance economic policies and development programs which promote the well-being of humanity and our shared environment. The many commitments taken by the international community under the UN Sustainable Development Goals (2030) and the Paris Climate Agreement, which range from the eradication of poverty to the role of women in society and a reduction of carbon emissions, to mention just a few, should be the guiding principles in your work. Ultimately, promoting shared solutions for a shared existence is what makes this decade unique.

It is important to realise and understand that sustainable development is a collective responsibility, and one which prioritises the needs of humanity and of ecological preservation over economic greed and personal interests.

Principles of Responsible Banking are important to ensure that commitments taken as an international family are kept and upheld at the forefront of global and domestic financial decisions. The relationship between peace, security and responsible banking is intrinsically linked to our shared vision of promoting a more just, prosperous, and environmentally conscious future.

Dear graduates,

Do not make the mistake of considering this day as a finishing line to your professional journey in the financial domain. This is the starting point of an exciting new life, in which you will be expected to apply your financial skills and knowledge to promote prosperity, sustainability, and environmental protection.

In conclusion, I wish to extend my gratitude to the Institute and to the vast team of professionals committed to guide and educate students towards satisfying and lucrative careers in the financial and banking fields.

A last word of thanks on your behalf goes to your parents, partners, friends, and dear ones who stood by you during your studies.

Once more, congratulations to all the graduates from 2019, 2020 and 2021.

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