Malta Removed From the FATF Grey List

The 20th of June 2022

On the 8th of June 2022, Malta was voted off and removed from the Financial Action Task Force grey list, precisely one year after the global watchdog marked the country as an untrustworthy financial jurisdiction.

In June 2021 a decision was taken by the members of the global anti-money laundering watchdog to add Malta to its grey list after identifying that Malta was not doing enough to combat financial crime, following years of international criticism of Maltese policymaking, the lack of legal action against individuals suspected of corruption, and the sale of Maltese passports.

The government has since been working hard and fast to address all these shortcomings flagged by the FATF. Being on the greylist negatively impacts the listed country’s economy.

How was the FATF vote taken?

The vote is secret, and a formal announcement of that decision took place during the Plenary of the FATF held between the 14th and 17th of June 2022, announcing that Malta has been removed from the list of jurisdictions with strategic deficiencies and hence was no longer subject to increased monitoring by the FATF.

The decision to take Malta off the list comes four months after the FATF publicly announced that initial indications showed that Malta had substantially completed the necessary reforms and appeared to have addressed the shortcomings identified.

The main issues addressed by the FATF were primarily about implementing changes to how Malta combats tax evasion, collects information on ultimate beneficial ownership, and shares information with local and international authorities. This action plan had to be implemented before the global anti-money laundering body gave the country a clean bill of health.

What is the FATF Grey List?

The FATF grey list is the agency’s official list of countries and jurisdictions that are identified as having strategic deficiencies in their regimes to counter money laundering, terrorist financing, and proliferation financing.
Unlike the blacklisted countries, the grey list countries actively work with the FATF to address strategic deficiencies in their regimes within agreed timeframes.

The FATF encourages its member to apply a risk based approach when analysing its prospects or clients.

As of June 2022, the following countries are on the FATF grey list:
Albania; Barbados; Burkina Faso; Cambodia; Cayman Islands; Democratic Republic of the Congo; Gibraltar; Haiti; Jamaica; Jordan;
Mali; Morocco; Mozambique; Panama; Philippines; Senegal; South Sudan; Syria; Tanzania; Türkiye; Uganda; United Arab Emirates; and Yemen.