Malta Taken Off Grey List By FATF
17 June 2022
Malta has been taken off the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) grey list. This news comes following a vote that was held among 37 jurisdictions as well as the European Commission and the Gulf Co-operation Council, who are recognized members of the FATF.
A formal announcement will be made at the end of its plenary; however news broke out on Wednesday 15th June 2022 that Malta’s financial regime was given the all-clear in the recent high-level vote in Berlin.
Malta was placed on the grey list in June 2021 and an indication that it was to be removed was first given in February 2022, by FATF president Marcus Pleyer.
What is the FATF grey list?
The FATF identifies “jurisdictions with weak measures” through two public documents issued at the end of every week-long plenary, known informally as the blacklist and the greylist.
The worst designation, known as the blacklist, includes countries or jurisdictions with such serious deficiencies that the FATF calls on the international financial system to apply “strict counter-measures”. North Korea and Iran are currently on the blacklist.
The second public document issued is called “Improving Global Anti Money Laundering Compliance: On-going process”. The greylist includes countries that have “strategic weaknesses” in their regime to counter money laundering and terror financing, but that have made a commitment to address them. Countries that are currently on the FATF greylist include Pakistan, Myanmar, Jamaica, Haiti, Panama, South Sudan and Syria, among others.
What is next?
The Paris-based FATF board will shortly release a formal statement officially removing Malta from the grey list.
This is a step in the right direction for the county, yet government sources told Times of Malta that the coming months are crucial to convince assessors that Malta is committed to maintaining the current pace of reforms. Regressing to previous practices they said, could see Malta once again being made subject to increased monitoring.
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