On Wednesday, June 15, Malta was removed from the Financial Action Task Force’s (FATF) gray list, a year after it was first labeled an untrustworthy financial jurisdiction by the global watchdog. Premiering the news is the Times of Malta.
However, the FATF vote is still secret, and the formal announcement of the decision is not expected until the end of the plenary session on Friday afternoon.
The decision to remove Malta from the list comes four months after the FATF publicly announced that it had found that the government had substantially completed the necessary reforms and appeared to have addressed the shortcomings identified.
Malta had been asked to implement a long list of reforms on how to combat tax evasion, collecting information on beneficial owners of companies, and sharing information with local and international authorities.
These issues were the focus of an action plan outlined by the FATF, which Malta was required to implement before receiving a clean bill of health from the global anti-money laundering body.
When questioned by the Times of Malta, Prime Minister Robert Abela said he would comply with the FATF’s confidentiality requirements, reserving comment until after the conclusion of the plenary meeting scheduled for Friday. However, he stressed that Malta remains committed to the reforms discussed with the supervisory body so that the country continues to strengthen itself as a serious and credible financial jurisdiction.