No sector, employer or employee will be spared if Malta is greylisted by the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) tomorrow, the Malta Developers Association has warned.
MDA said this serious threat was being made “despite diligent efforts” of all government officials and civil servants, as well as following positive feedback from Moneyval.
“The negative effect on the economy will spare no sector, employer or employee but it will have a negative effect on Malta’s economy in general…. MDA appreciates that both the Prime Minister and the Minister of Finance Clyde Caruana have done their utmost to try and steer Malta out of this very serious and uncomfortable situation.”
The MDA said it would always support any actions intended to benefit Malta’s economy and hopes that Malta will avoid the threatened grey listing.
MDA also appealed to all stakeholders and “genuine Maltese” to cooperate with the current administration’s efforts on this issue.
Meanwhile, the Institute of Financial Services Practitioners said Malta had made substantial progress over the past years to address concerns about the effectiveness of its anti-money laundering regime, as demonstrated by the Moneyval follow-up report.
“Malta has now been found to be either largely compliant or fully compliant with all 40 of the FATF recommendations. The IFSP and its members expect that the demonstrable improvements made by the country will form the basis for any decisions taken by the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) as it deliberates whether to place Malta under increased monitoring (that is, on the grey list) or not.”
Meanwhile, Finance Minister Clyde Caruana penned an article in Times of Malta pledging to work hard until the last minute to avoid greylisting.
“In my year as head of secretariat at the office of the prime minister and in the past six months as finance and employment minister, we have worked tirelessly together with our team of civil servants to introduce the legislative, regulatory and institutional changes that address all the shortcomings raised back in 2019.”
Caruana said that all shortcomings were fully addressed, and Malta now has zero non-compliant and zero-partially compliant areas in the 40 FATF technical scores.
“Only a handful of countries in Europe have such high compliance ratings,” he said.
“The next step in the process is an overview of the efficacy of our regulatory and legislative frameworks and here, too, Malta has done more than enough to avoid a greylist and, if treated equally as other states, the country should be told that it has done immense progress in this sphere as well.”
“If there are countries which are FATF members that still question Malta’s Moneyval ratings or the effectiveness of their implementation, and I believe this is a very small number of countries, I can openly tell them that the strengthening of our framework will continue after tomorrow, no matter what the outcome is, and that we are strong in our conviction in the ‘why’ of the need for these changes.”
He called for the political and commercial sectors to unite in one voice to push the message that Malta has done more than enough to justify a positive result.
“I do not know what will happen tomorrow but, on Thursday if there is a greylist it will be a pyrrhic victory for those Maltese politicians or citizens that would be happy with such a negative result.
“On the contrary, myself, together with the prime minister and the rest of this government will continue working hard until the last minute to reach out to all, to continue convincing and persuading that Malta has done enough, that Malta does not deserve a greylist and that such verdict would have an unjust detrimental effect on Maltese businesses and families.”
Do you think Malta will be greylisted by FATF tomorrow?