Although the islands of Malta sit right in the middle of the Mediterranean Sea, there are still tourists and foreigners who seem to be confused as to which currency is used locally. Malta’s own currency, which is today obsolete, used to be the Maltese Lira, or Lm for short. As of the 31st of December 2008, the Maltese Lira was completely replaced by the Euro, at the fixed exchange rate of €1 per 0.4293 lira.
As of today, there exist eight kinds of local valid coin types, and since each Euro country has its own different design for its coins, Malta also has its own, which mostly portrays traditional Maltese emblems of cultural importance – The €0.01, €0.02 and the €0.05 coins display an image of an altar from the Mnajdra megalithic temples. The €0.10, €0.20 and the €0.50 cents coins have the coat of arms of Malta, while the €1.00 and the €2.00 coins showcase the George Cross. There are also seven denominations of the euro banknotes, these are the €5, €10, €20, €50, €100, €200, and €500.
The central bank of the Maltese Islands is the Central Bank of Malta. This is located in the capital city of Valletta and is open to the public from Monday to Friday until early afternoon. For more information about times and services, please visit https://www.centralbankmalta.org/about
There are a large number of different banks in Malta and Gozo, with their own respective branches in various towns and villages. The most well known of these include:
- The Bank of Valletta (BOV), previously known as the National Bank of Malta, this is the oldest established service provider on the island. The bank’s head office is situated in Santa Venera, it has approximately 44 branches and 6 regional business centres. It has representative offices in a number of countries, including Austria, Belgium and Italy. To know more, visit https://www.bov.com/
- HSBC Bank Malta plc, previously registered under the name Mid-Med Bank Limited, is a multinational banking and financial services company which originated in the 1860s in Hong Kong and Shangai. It is the world’s seventh largest bank by total assets and the largest in Europe. For more info, goto http://www.about.hsbc.com.mt/hsbc-in-malta
- APS Bank, previously known as the ‘Unione Cattolica San Giuseppe’, is a Maltese bank established in 1910 by a Jesuit priest. At present, the bank’s ownership belongs to the Archdiocese of Malta and Gozo. It has seven branches around Malta and Gozo and holds two subsidiaries, APS Consult Ltd and APS Funds Sicav pls. More information can be found at https://www.apsbank.com.mt/
Other important banks in Malta include Lombard Bank Malta plc and Banif Bank (Malta).
Banks are mostly open until early afternoons from Monday to Friday and until midday on Saturdays. Some branches also work longer hours but summer and winter opening hours can differ. International bankcards such as Visa, American Express, Diner’s Club and Mastercard are accepted as are foreign currencies which can easily be exchanged at exchange bureaus.