A Maltese man who owns a bank account in Poland has been informed that he will no longer be able to use the bank, or his account’s card, in anything Malta-related as of 31st October.
“I never imagined that Malta’s greylisting would have an effect on something so commonly used by many – if many international banks implement such a policy, this is going to have a major negative impact on our tourism sector,” the man told Lovin Malta shortly after receiving the message from Getin Bank.
Getin Bank is a part of Noble Bank SA and serves around 2.4 million clients worldwide. Its message refers to Malta as a “high-risk jurisdiction”.
In the message to the Maltese client, the bank said:
“Good day. In August we recorded activity on your card in Malta. Kindly note that as of 31.10.2021 use of your card in high-risk jurisdictions will not be permitted. This is being done to reduce the risk of money laundering and terrorist financing. Greetings, Getin Bank.”
“This is being done to reduce the risk of money laundering and terrorist financing.”
The cardholder was taken aback by the sudden message, saying that it brought the reality of being greylisted by the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) to the forefront.
It is not uncommon for banks to ask their clients to cease any financial transactions with “high risk” countries – however, it is of concern that a nearby European country is already moving to halt any financial connections with the island.
Malta was greylisted by the FATF, a financial watchdog, due to shortcomings related to tackling money-laundering on the island following a two-year assessment. The government has since presented the FATF with a plan – but it is unlikely that Malta is removed from the listing before 2023.
Are you concerned about the financial blowback due to greylisting?