Gibraltar has been added to the Financial Action Task Force’s (FATF) grey list, meaning the British overseas territory will face increased scrutiny in relation to its financial compliance, domiciled businesses and tax arrangements.
The inclusion of Gibraltar comes after FATF, that serves as the financial tasksforce of the G-7 monitoring money-laundering and anti-terrorism financing, deemed Gibraltar to have ‘strategic deficiencies’ in AML compliance.
Gibraltar joins Pakistan, Syria, Myanmar, Afghanistan and Iraq as a high-risk nation indexed on FAFT’s grey list.
At a press conference, FATF chair Marcus Pleyer stated that ‘there are a number of steps that need to be taken by the country’ to ensure its removal from the grey list.
He went on to underline the importance of ‘Gibraltar focusing on gatekeepers to the financial system, including gambling operators and lawyers’. Furthermore he cited the lack of sufficient punishments as being a key factor in failings in the region.
Similarly to Malta, which was removed as Gibraltar was added, the country will need to bring into force an action plan to tighten its grip on money laundering and ensure an effective strategy is in place in the region to halt illegal money.
Malta’s removal was also confirmed by the body, as it however, emphasised that the country still has work to do. Nonetheless, the removal of the country from the grey list will be seen as a key moment for its economy.
Russell Mifsud, Director and Gaming Lead, KPMG Malta, commented on the grey-list transition, he stated: “The grey-list lifting brings Malta back its degree of credibility, whilst diffusing inherent scepticism at both operational and investor level.
“The journey of transitioning back to the white-list gives Malta the opportunity to come back stronger than it has ever been and to continue to build on its ecosystem as the iGaming capital of the world. This in turn should provide industry stakeholders who call Malta home with a tangible benefit going forward.
“Thinking ahead, Malta’s challenge will be to maintain the rigorous standards it has committed to, whilst remaining business-friendly and sustainable when compared to other competing jurisdictions.”