For the past couple of months, the Moneyval test was on many people’s minds considering the implications of a negative result. Several commentators argued that failing to obtain a good result may have had severe consequences for the country in view of imminent grey-listing. This would have dealt heavy blows to the country’s thriving industries with long-lasting repercussions on Malta’s economy.
Fortunately, positive news has reached our shores as Moneyval has published a progress report that shows encouragingly improved ratings for Malta in combatting money laundering and terrorist financing. It is stated that Malta has registered “significant progress”. Till now, it seems that the country has managed to evade the undesirable outcome of grey-listing.
The level of Malta’s compliance has been increased in line with the Financial Action Task Force’s standards, with the country no longer holding “non-compliant” or “partially compliant” ratings. It has been noted that Malta is amongst the first countries to implement a regulatory and institutional framework for virtual assets. This covers the most popular virtual currencies and the providers of these. In this regard, Malta has shown a significant improvement in addressing technical compliance deficiencies.
The government of Malta has had its work cut out for it considering the report published two years ago. The gaps identified by Moneyval meant that Malta had to invest significantly in its regulatory authorities, introducing new laws and upscaling the police force when it comes to the investigation of financial crimes. It was required that Malta would report to Moneyval as part of an enhanced follow-up procedure, with the risk of grey-listing looming.
In this assessment, Moneyval went into different measures including the legislative, regulatory and institutional which were implemented by Malta to address its shortcomings. The implementation of measures was well-received and saw Malta achieving higher international compliance ratings in numerous areas.
Following these findings, Moneyval will keep tabs on Malta and a follow-up is expected. Malta is expected to submit to Moneyval a report to prove further progress in two years.
The report prepared by Moneyval will now need to be given the all-clear during a meeting of the Financial Action Task Force. This meeting is expected to take place in the coming weeks.
What do you make about this positive result for Malta? Let us know your views and thoughts in the comments section below.