Malta and the FATF- fighting money laundering and terrorism financing

Over the last decade, the island of Malta has firmly established itself as a leading jurisdiction for various sectors such as iGaming, financial services, and now, cryptocurrency and blockchain. This is due in part to its stringent approach to issues surrounding anti-money laundering and counter-terrorism procedures, including its adherence to the EU 4th Anti Money Laundering Directive, as well as being an active member of the international Financial Action Task Force (FATF).

The FATF is an organisation that is tasked with setting the global standards for AML/CTF as well as acting as a guardian of the financial system in terms of financial crime and illicit activities. Every four months, they release a list of non-reputable jurisdictions which are defined as those that have serious deficiencies in their AML/CFT legislation, or who are not cooperative. This list of so-called ‘rogue states’ is meant to guide cooperative countries when it comes to who they should do business with, and who requires more enhanced levels of due diligence and other verification processes.

The most recent list, published in July, includes Democratic People’s Republic of North Korea, Ethiopia, Iran, Pakistan, Serbia, Sri Lanka, Syria, Trinidad and Tobago, Tunisia and Yemen. Deemed as no-reputable jurisdictions, entities are advised to exercise caution when handling financial businesses with them. Notably, most countries on the list are in the grip of some kind of conflict so it could be that the governmental infrastructure is not available to enforce such regulations in an efficient manner, rather than them simply refusing to cooperate.

Malta’s Financial Intelligence Analysis Unit (FIAU) uses each report as a guide to decide what kinds of businesses or individuals should be able to conduct financial businesses within the country. Malta is also an active member of the intergovernmental FTAF as well as adhering to the EU 4AMLD, meaning it takes a strict approach to due diligence on companies and obliged entities operating in the country.

E&S Group works with a wide range of clientele from every corner of the world, and as such, we undertake all necessary due diligence, enhanced due diligence, and know your customer processes as a standard. We are also able to advise our customers on creating the proper, compliance procedures to ensure that their business and the people that they do business with are in line with national and international AML/CFT requirements. Contact us today at +356 2010 3020 or by email on [email protected]