The FATF’s mandate is to set standards and promote effective measures to combat money laundering and terrorist financing. In order to do this, the group develops policies and recommendations that member states can adopt, conducts mutual evaluations of member states’ compliance with its standards, promotes technical assistance and training programmes, engages in outreach activities, and cooperates with other international organisations. One of the ways in which the FATF achieves its mandate is through the development of the ’40 Recommendations’. These recommendations provide a comprehensive framework for action against money laundering and terrorist financing. They cover topics such as customer due diligence, suspicious transaction reporting, cross-border cooperation, and asset confiscation.
A total of 37 member countries and 2 regional organisations make up the FATF. The members are responsible for implementing FATF standards in their jurisdictions. Observers are not subject to this requirement but participate in the work of the organisation nonetheless. The current members of the FATF can be found here.
The FATF works with countries to strengthen their anti-money laundering and counter-terrorist financing frameworks and provides guidance on how these can be effectively implemented. The FATF also carries out assessments of countries’ compliance with its standards and provides technical assistance to help countries improve their capacity to prevent and detect money laundering and terrorist financing. In addition, the FATF operates a number of programmes to support its work, including training courses for government officials, private sector representatives and other stakeholders.
Jurisdictions that the FATF placed under increased monitoring are actively working to address deficiencies in their regimes that counter money laundering, terrorist financing, and proliferation financing. When the FATF places a jurisdiction under increased monitoring, it means the country has committed to resolving identified strategic deficiencies quickly within agreed timeframes and is subject to increased monitoring. This list is often referred to as the ‘grey list’ by external sources.
This is in contrast to whitelisted countries, such as Malta, who are not subject to the FATF’s increased monitoring in the areas of money laundering and terrorist financing. Malta offers a highly professional and regulated environment that is very attractive to businesses and investors. The island provides numerous benefits such as tax efficiency and allows businesses based in Malta to operate throughout the EU. Malta is good as a standalone jurisdiction, but also works well in combination with other jurisdictions or as an add-on to existing structures for companies with an international footprint. This is due to the 70+ double tax treaties Malta signed with other countries. The various incentives applied in Malta continue to draw individuals and investors to the island, ensuring stable business growth.
Contact us if you are thinking about registering a company in Malta and are interested in having an initial call to discuss your situation. We assist with a range of services from initial company formation to all background business administration and compliance obligations. Contact us today to arrange a consultation to discuss your business requirements.