Following the need for further AML/CFT enforcement, the Maltese Government cracked down on its compliance regulations and issued not only the Business Risk Assessment document a few weeks ago but it now also released another document titled "Enforcement Factsheet". This document was drawn up by the FIAU's Enforcement Section and, in tandem with the aforementioned Business Risk Assessment, aims to assist Subject Persons in enhancing the compliance to AML/CFT obligations.
Consequent to a complete assessment taken during the years 2019 and 2020, the FIAU has now increased its supervisory coverage, instated heftier sanctions, and imposed numerous remediation directives.
The Enforcement Factsheet summarises the findings of the enforcement actions taken in 2019 and 2020 alongside its conclusions. An annex contains a graphical representation of the most common discoveries.
The most common result across all sectors relates to the appreciation of risk, both at institutional level and at the customer level. Another common finding relates to the requirements of having a customer risk profile which monitors transactions and to consider occasional ones within the context of all that is known about the customer.
It was noted that Subject Persons were considering particular clients as low risk on the basis of their familiarity with such clients, allowing themselves to be overly influenced rather than basing their risk understanding on a sound assessment.
In another case study, although procedure manuals were not formalised, Subject Persons were still implementing a number of AML/CFT measures, thus adequately complying with their CDD and other obligations.
Such irregularities called for a clearer guideline that would tackle the issue of AML/CTF in a 360-degree manner.
Both the Enforcement Factsheet and the Business Risk Assessment are intended to clarify and enforce the latest regulations in order to ensure that internal AML/CFT controls are aligned with the legal obligations and the FIAU's expectations.
Said controls will certify that the Subject Persons may protect their services, and ultimately, safeguard the Maltese economy from being abused for Money Laundering/ Funding of Terrorism purposes.
This news comes just after the initial proclamation of Malta passing the initial Moneyval test. Through issuance of these documents, Malta is showcasing its dedication to fight unjust methods of money use, awaiting the final verdict which is now in the hands of the FAFT.
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