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Malta’s Institute of Financial Services Practitioners (IFSP) has insisted it is confident that Malta will be able to make the progress required to be removed from the Financial Action Task Force (FATF)’s green list “within a short period”.

Responding after the FATF on Wednesday voted to categorise Malta as a ‘Jurisdiction Under Increased Monitoring’, sending a signal to the international banking and commerce community that there are heightened risks with regards to doing business in Malta, the IFSP insisted that the country can make it off the grey list in an expeditious manner.

“With the country making a concerted effort towards addressing those aspects which may require further progress, Malta can demonstrate that the effectiveness outcomes sought will naturally follow the substantial progress already achieved on the technical front”, the organisation said.

It also claimed that the “substantial progress” made by Malta over the past years to address shortcomings in its anti-money laundering regime were recognised by the FATF during this weeks plenary meetings.

In its statement, the IFSP also cast a question about the validity of the greylisting, stating that “unlike a number of other countries (including some EU Member States and other large countries) Malta does not have any ‘non-compliant’ or ‘partially compliant’ grades”.

Therefore, the organisation believes that the country has fared better when viewed through the lens of the FATF’s “own risk-scoring matrix”.

Additionally, it finds it “regrettable” that the jurisdiction has been placed under increased monitoring, considering the significant progress reported by Moneyval.

The organisation stated that Malta is largely compliant or fully compliant with all 40 of the FATF recommendations, which is an “acknowledgement” that Malta has made “strides” forward in its fight against money laundering and the financing of terrorism.

“The financial services industry is proud to have been part of the process to raise the bar in AML and CFT compliance and that its cooperation with the authorities over the past months has led to significant progress”, the IFSP commented.

In the future, the IFSP said that along with its members, it remains committed to continue progressing and addressing the areas of concern throughout the FATF’s increased monitoring term.

In light of this, it believes that any outstanding areas of concern will be tackled in an efficient and effective manner with the industry and the authorities each playing their respective parts.

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