Last Fall, compliance officers in the EU and North America waited patiently to see whether MONEYVAL, the European anti-money laundering regulatory agency, would make good on the rumors that it intended to place the Republic of Malta on the so-called Greylist of countries deemed uncooperative in AML/CFT matters after being duly warned of major deficiencies. Such a designation would greatly affect how the compliance world, and indeed the international banks, view Malta's local banks, corporations, law firms, and non-bank financial institutions.
MONEYVAL failed to issue any ruling; meanwhile the agency moved on to examine several other European nations. in January the Government of Malta announced that a decision would be forthcoming that month. We are now in February, and there is n world, which has caused consternation in Malta itself, as well as within the global financial community at large.
What is the status ? Did Malta's government convince the agency to again postpone a decision, due to COVID-19 ? Is MONEYVAL so busy that it has not yet gotten around to the Malta file ? Or, as some have opined in Malta, has the decision come down, and is it being kept under wraps until the next election ?
These unanswered questions are causing unease within Malta, and its people deserve answers. We hope and trust that they will be forthcoming very soon.