Castille square (fotolia - no need to credit)

Reacting to the Financial Action Task Force’s (FATF) first public statements about its decision to greylist Malta, among other jurisdictions, during a week of plenary sections, the Government maintained its position that it is not in agreement with the outcome.

The so-called grey list is a group of countries deemed by the FATF to be at higher risk in the fight against money laundering and the financing of terrorism. Officially, the grey list is referred to as Jurisdictions under Increased Monitoring.

“Malta firmly believes that it does not deserve to be subject to increased monitoring considering the plethora of reforms implemented that led to tangible progress in Malta’s ability to prevent, detect and combat money laundering and the funding of terrorism effectively.

“Nevertheless, Malta has been and will remain fully committed to working with the FATF and other international partners to ensure that the partially addressed recommended actions are addressed within the shortest possible timeframes,” it said.

It highlighted the areas in which Malta was recommended to enact further reform, which are as follows:

  • further increase the focus of the FIAU’s financial analysis on serious tax offences and related money laundering;
  • increase the use of financial intelligence in pursuing criminal tax and related money laundering cases; and
  • improve the identification of inaccurate beneficial ownership information provided by Maltese legal persons, and the application of dissuasive, effective and proportionate sanctions on legal persons and subject persons for failure to comply with their beneficial ownership obligations.

“Although Malta demonstrated a clear determination to address all 58 recommended actions, as evidenced by the number of actions and changes implemented by Malta in the 18-month period following the 2019 MER, the FATF still considered that the aforementioned three recommended actions were not sufficiently addressed.”

The Government went on to thank all authorities and stakeholders from within the public and private sectors “that worked tirelessly throughout this process to ensure that our country has a robust AML/CFT framework in place”.

It also expressed appreciation to “the numerous jurisdictions that supported Malta and put forward the view that Malta did indeed make sufficient and tangible progress”.

Check out a full transcript of what FATF President Marcus Pleyer had to say about Malta here.

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