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Malta’s largest business-interest lobby groups, The Malta Chamber of Commerce, Enterprise and Industry, and The Malta Chamber of SMEs, have welcomed a positive vote by Moneyval on Malta’s anti-money laundering regime.

The Council of Europe’s anti-money laundering expert committee, also known as Moneyval, reportedly voted during a plenary session in Strasbourg on Thursday. The news was widely reported, however, Moneyval have yet to release an official communication and Government has yet to officially react to the news.

The Malta Chamber

The Malta Chamber of Commerce, Enterprise and Industry on Thursday said it is pleased to see a final report on Malta having been approved.

Whilst welcoming this news, The Malta Chamber believes “it is imperative to ensure continued observance of the anti-money laundering measures whilst ensuring the processes adopted do not impose disproportionate bureaucratic burdens on the financial services industry”.

The Malta Chamber stressed that success can only be achieved through a unified approach, and all efforts need to be focused on maintaining the highest of standards through constant proactive action and keeping transparency at the forefront.

The SME Chamber

While combatting the effects of COVID, Malta was also fighting another important battle to stay off the Moneyval grey listing, The Malta Chamber of SMEs said in a statement.

“It is therefore even more exceptional that during a crisis of the extent of COVID, Malta managed to achieve such an important result. The Moneyval opinion, though not the final one, was awaited with great anticipation by the Chamber of SMEs.”

Moneyval forms part of the wider inter-Governmental anti-money laundering organisation called the Financial Action Task Force (FATF). FATF will now take a final decision on whether to ‘grey list’ Malta based on Moneyval’s recommendations.

While being grey listed does not translate to economic sanctions, Malta’s position as a financial services hub and an igaming hub makes such a classification particularly troublesome as it would signal heightened transactional risks to the global banking community.

“A negative opinion would have led to catastrophic consequences on our economy and this catastrophe has now been averted. A positive outcome such as this one is documented proof that Malta has turned the page,” the SME Chamber said.

It noted that “while scrutiny will continue and so will Malta’s efforts to keep up progress, the positive position of Moneyval in relation to Malta’s report goes a long way in addressing the serious shortcomings our country has lived through in the recent past.”

The SME Chamber congratulates the Prime Minister and the Minister for Finance on this positive achievement.

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