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Gibraltar removed from FATF grey list

| By Marese O'Hagan
Gibraltar has been named as one of the four jurisdictions removed from the Financial Action Task Force's (FATF) grey list.
Gibraltar FAFT grey list

The jurisdictions were confirmed as being removed from the grey list following the FATF Plenary, which took place from 21-24 February.

Gibraltar was named alongside Uganda, Barbados and the United Arab Emirates. The Plenary noted that all four jurisdictions had made “significant progress” in addressing anti-money laundering (AML) and counter-terrorist financing (CTF) issues that had been identified during previous evaluations.

All four had also previously agreed to an Action Plan, wherein certain issues had to be resolved within a stipulated timeframe.

“These countries will no longer be subject to the FATF’s increased monitoring process,” the FATF noted. “This comes after a successful on-site visit to each of these countries. Each country will work with the FATF-style regional body, of which it is a member, to continue strengthening their AML/CTF/CPF regimes.”

Also at the Plenary, Kenya and Namibia were added to the grey list, formally known as the list of Jurisdictions Under Increased Monitoring. No new countries or jurisdictions were added to the highest-risk category – the High-Risk Jurisdictions subject to a call for action.

The FATF also appointed Elisa de Anda Madrazo as its next president for a term of two years. Previously, de Anda Madrazo was FATF vice-president from 1 July 2020 to 30 June 2023. Her new role will begin on 1 July 2024.

Gibraltar’s long history with the grey list

Gibraltar has been the subject of a two-year long battle with the FATF, after it was placed on the grey list in June 2022. It was mandated to stay on the list for one year until it could be re-evaluated. At this same Plenary, Malta was removed from the grey list.

The jurisdiction adopted an action plan – comprising of two points – following its addition to the list.

At the time, Andrew Lyman, Gibraltar’s gambling commissioner said he was unsure as to why Gibraltar was added to the grey list. He stated that it had no “fundamental, systemic anti-money laundering (AML) or terrorist financing weaknesses.”

But he added that he was “highly committed” to getting Gibraltar off the list “in the fastest time possible”. Lyman also confirmed that Gibraltar would not issue more sanctions due to its grey-listing.

In October that year, Gibraltar’s government announced that it would defer reporting its progress on being removed from the grey list. The following February, Gibraltar was confirmed to remain on the grey list, although the FATF noted that there had been progress.

In June 2023, Gibraltar was warned that the deadline had expired on the jurisdiction’s May 2023 deadline for its action plan completion.

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