Malta has officially been greylisted by the Financial Action Task Force, sending alarm bells ringing throughout the nation.
The FATF grey list – officially referred to as Jurisdiction Under Increased Monitoring – includes countries determined to have strategic weaknesses in their anti-money laundering and terrorism financing framework, with a clear intention to address concerns shown.
Thirty-seven countries as well as the European Commission and the Gulf Cooperation Council voted. Sources suggested that the USA, UK, and Germany voted against Malta. However, this is yet to be confirmed.
The prospect of greylisting is one Malta was hoping to avoid, given the possible implications on the country’s economy.
A study published by the International Monetary Fund last month, which analysed the impacts of greylisting on different jurisdictions, found that on average, greylisted countries experienced issues related to bank de-risking, reduced foreign direct investment among other factors.
In order to be taken off the list, countries will need to work on a plan of action agreed to with the FATF.
Maltese government officials, including Finance Minister Clyde Caruana and Foreign Minister Evarist Bartolo, have been engaged in intense lobbying efforts in order to secure a favourable vote for Malta. However, it seems that their efforts have counted for naught.
Now, questions will turn to Malta’s future – and whether the government is to ready to shoulder responsibility.
What do you think of the greylisting?