Finance Minister Clyde Caruana has welcomed the fact that Malta has passed a crucial Moneyval assessment, but he warned that this was not the end of the road for the country.
Malta had failed an assessment by Moneyval – the Council of Europe body that oversees issues related to money laundering and the funding of terrorism – back in 2019.
A report drawn up after a follow-up assessment has now found Malta to have made significant progress, enough for it to no longer be considered ‘non-compliant’.
Addressing a press conference this afternoon Caruana said that Malta had turned over a new leaf, but he warned that this was not yet the end of the road.
“There is still something left. The FATF,” he said, referring to the Financial Action Task Force, an entity higher up the regulatory framework than Moneyval and which will ultimately decide Malta’s fate.
Caruana explained that now that a technical report has been drawn up by Moneyval, it will have to be discussed during a plenary session next month that will include 24 Council of Europe member states as well as five institutions. The plenary will have to vote on whether or not to approve the report.
“It is there that we will truly be able to say that this is a closed chapter,” Caruana said.
Despite this, Caruana said that the government had delivered on Prime Minister Robert Abela’s promise for the country to turn over a new leaf.
“Today I am hosting this press conference because we have turned a new page. Through the efforts of many people, we are now seeing the first result. Malta passing the Moneyval test,” Caruana said.
The minister stressed that the government had shown an absolute commitment to addressing each and every one of the concerns raised in Moneyval’s initial assessment.
“This commitment has been noticed by everyone, but especially by the private sector where the landscape has radically changed, both with regards to legislation and regulatory agencies.
Turning to the actual assessment, Caruana said that Malta had addressed all concerns raised.
“The report is saying that in each of these areas, our country has passed and has met the criteria,” Caruana said. “Wherever we were told to improve, we did.”
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