On 6 June, the Times of Malta reported that the country was handed a new, hefty to-do list by international assessors from FATF. Assessors from the FATF, who were in Malta in May, have written to the Finance Ministry with a number of reforms and improvements that the country still needs to enact in the fight against financial crime. FATF is said to have referred to low seizures of criminal assets, lax rules on lawyers providing fiduciary services, and the “low quality” of STR by banks and other entities. The heads of 2 Maltese regulators told the Times of Malta that the list of reforms sent by the FATF in recent weeks is lengthy and Malta would need at least a year to adequately address them. The decision over whether Malta will be grey-listed will be taken during a FATF plenary session later this month – there has never been an EU Member State on the grey list before and being placed on it could seriously impact Malta’s ability to do business as well as its attractiveness to foreign investors.
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