FATF adds Gibraltar to AML grey-list citing ‘strategic deficiencies’

The Financial Action Task Force has added Gibraltar to its grey-list, deeming the British overseas territory to have “strategic deficiencies” in AML compliance. 

The inclusion onto the FAFT grey-listing, a mere week after Malta was removed, will result in Gibraltar facing increased scrutiny in relation to its financial compliance, domiciled businesses and tax arrangements. 

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.

In addition, 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. 

Gibraltar joins Pakistan, Syria, Myanmar, Afghanistan and Iraq as a high-risk nation indexed on FAFT’s grey list.   

As previously referred to, Malta’s removal was also confirmed by the body, however, it emphasised that the country still has work to do. 

“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,” explained Russell Mifsud, Director and Gaming Lead, KPMG Malta

“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.”