Moneyval has officially published its report confirming Malta has passed its crucial anti-money laundering test.
Malta passed the test last month and the Council of Europe’s committee has now broken down exactly what led to this decision.
It confirmed that the country was re-rated for eight recommendations from its original assessment back in 2019 – five recommendations which were originally rated as partially compliant are now rated as largely compliant, while two originally related as partially compliant are now rated as compliant.
Here are the eight reasons:
1. The risk of non-enrolled voluntary organisations being used to finance terrorism – from partially compliant to largely compliant.
2. The application of mandatory measures with regards to correspondent banking relationships with non-EU financial institutions – from partially compliant to largely compliant.
3. Mechanisms through which people can file suspicious transaction reports in a prompt manner- from partially compliant to compliant.
4. The risk of Maltese legal people and legal arrangements being used for money laundering and terrorism financing purposes – from partially compliant to largely compliant.
5. Preventing criminals and criminal associations from owning or holding a controlling interests or management function of financial institutions and trustee/company service providers – from partially compliant to largely compliant.
6. The regulation of real estate agents and lawyers – from partially compliant to largely compliant.
7. The implementation of Article 5 of the Vienna Convention on diplomatic relations – from partially compliant to compliant.
8. The confiscation or freezing of property which could constitute laundered property, proceeds of crime or instrumentalities – from partially compliant to largely compliant.
Meanwhile, following a recommendation by the Financial Action Taskforce (FATF), Malta took steps to improve compliance with regard to virtual assets (VA) and virtual asset service providers, but Moneyval warned that minor shortcomings remain.
The government has yet to issue a statement, while the PN has welcomed the report as one which will give some relief to the financial services industry.
“Years of work, investment and high-quality jobs were threatened as a result of the way the government destroyed the institutions and allowed financial crime to flourish over the past seven years,” the PN said.
Malta is not out of the woods yet. In June, the FATF will discuss the effectiveness of the anti-money laundering regime, which will include a look at how many people and companies have been prosecuted and how many assets have been confiscated.
Cover photo: Council of Europe