Gibraltar added, Malta removed from FATF grey list

| By Daniel O'Boyle
Gibraltar has been added to the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) grey list as a result of failings related to its gambling industry, though Malta has been removed.

FATF – a global anti-money laundering body – keeps a list of “jurisdictions under increased monitoring”, also known as its grey list.

In a press conference today – which was delayed due to extended discussions at the FATF plenary session – the body revealed that Gibraltar was added to the list.

As a result, officials in Gibraltar have adopted an action plan on the issue.

“Gibraltar needs to take a number of steps including focusing on gatekeepers to the financial system, including gambling operators and lawyers,” FATF chair Marcus Pleyer explained. “At the moment, supervisors are not applying sufficient fines for anti-money laundering failings.

“This is important as the gambling sector in Gibraltar is large and is aimed at foreign jurisdictions.”

The organisation added Malta to its list of jurisdictions subject to increased monitoring in June 2021, alongside the Philippines, Haiti and South Sudan.

FATF explains that it places countries on the list if it believes they have “strategic deficiencies in their regimes to counter money laundering, terrorist financing, and proliferation financing”.

When it added Malta to the list, FATF presented Malta with an “action plan”, focused on three prongs. The first of these points related to demonstrating that beneficial ownership information is accurate, while the second and third related to increasing and better defining the role of its Financial Intelligence Unit.

In a March update, the organisation then revealed that Malta had “substantially completed its action plan” by making reforms. This included increased use of the Financial Intelligence Unit’s (FIU) services to pursue money laundering and criminal tax cases.

However, the organisation decided that the country required an on-site review to ensure the AML measures are being implemented.

With this review now complete, Malta has been removed from the list.

“That doesn’t mean there isn’t more work to do,” Preyer added. “Going forward, the FATF strongly encourages Malta to continue improving its system.”

The Philippines, meanwhile, remains on the list. When it was initially added, its seven-point action plan included one point specifically related to casino junkets.

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