[WATCH] Moneyval result is part of a new page, Finance Minister says

As Malta receives its gold star in the Moneyval report, Finance Minister Clyde Caruana hopes this effort will be recognised at FATF level

Finance Minister Clyde Caruana
Finance Minister Clyde Caruana

Finance Minister Clyde Caruana celebrated Malta's official pass mark on its Moneyval assessment, describing the result as fruits of the hard work carried out by the civil service over the past months.

"17 months ago, Prime Minister Robert Abela said that the country needs to start a new page. Today, we're experiencing part of that new page thanks to the hard work carried out by a lot of people, the fruit of which was announced earlier today with Malta passing its Moneyval test," he said.

Earlier on Thursday, the Council of Europe published its progress report, showing significantly improved ratings for Malta in its fight against money laundering and terrorist financing.

According to the report, Malta enjoys full compliance with 12 of the 40 FATF recommendations constituting the international AML/CFT standard, while minor deficiencies were flagged in the implementation of the remaining 28 recommendations.

However, Malta no longer has "non-compliant" or "partially compliant" ratings in the report.

Government had to undertake several reforms due to a Moneyval report from 2019, which flagged several deficiencies in its anti-money laundering regime.

As a result, Malta risks being greylisted by the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), which is Moneyval's international counterpart. The FATF grey list is a warning that a country might be blacklisted (uncooperative tax havens), a yellow card notice that if a jurisdiction does not curb terror funding and money laundering risks, it might face serious sanctions. 

Caruana acknowledged that while this Moneyval result is highly positive, Malta still faces a hurdle at FATF level. The Moneyval report will require clearance at a meeting of the FATF in the coming weeks.

"I hope that this national effort is also recognised at the FATF," Caruana told MaltaToday.