The Financial Action Task Force (FATF), which is an international watchdog that sets global anti-money laundering standards, has removed Malta from its ‘greylist’. The removal comes after months of negotiations with the Maltese government. Malta was given instructions on how to prevent tax evasion, gather data on final beneficial ownership and exchange data with global regulators.
Various problems were at the center of the FATF plan of action that Malta had to carry out well before the international organization that combats money laundering, gave a positive diagnosis.
‘Financial Action Task Force (FATF) Greylist’
The FATF is a global organization established in 1995 that promotes internationally agreed standards for responsible international financial institutions.
“Grey List” is a list of non-compliant countries issued by the FATF whose products potentially pose a risk to the financial system or the stability of the world economy.
The FATF has three plenary sessions each year. Plenery meetings are a meeting of experts on typologies, and, depending on the focus of current work, intersessional meetings and meetings of various ad hoc groups. At the conclusion of each week-long plenary, the FATF releases two public reports that list “jurisdictions with weak measures.”
“Improving Global Anti Money Laundering Compliance: On-going Process” is the title of the FATF’s second report made available to the public. This is referred to as the “greylist” unofficially. The list comprises of nations who acknowledge that they have “strategic deficiencies” in their systems for preventing money laundering and terror financing but have pledged to address them.
When was Malta put on a Grey list?
Malta was initially placed on the grey list by the FATF in June 2021 after delegates determined that Malta was not doing anything to prevent fraudulent practices.
Following years of foreign scrutiny of Maltese policymaking, notably the selling of national passports and the absence of judicial action against public servants who were cited in the Panama Papers as having created hidden offshore corporations, FATF finally took action. Ever since, the administration has been rushing to fix the issues that FATF highlighted.
Accountants welcome this achievement
The Malta Institute of Accountants (MIA), which described it as a “timely exit,” conveyed its satisfaction and stated that it was critical to put the nation back on its path to establishing itself as one of the most trustable jurisdictions in the economy.
MIA praised the experts’ painstaking process over the last several months to assure the improvement of the financial services industry’s image, saying that this was a significant factor in achieving the intended outcome.
Financial institutions are optimistic that, as a result of the FATF’s ruling, the cost of doing business abroad and facing examination by other countries would eventually lessen. Malta’s elimination indicates to the global financial community that the issues raised by the FATF have mostly been resolved and that Malta may now be regarded as a reliable nation for doing business.