June 26, 2023 3 min read

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Gibraltar Stays on the FATF Greylist as Remedial Progress Remains Slow

The financial watchdog noted that all deadlines had expired, urging the government to implement its action plan

Gibraltar continues its struggle to address its strategic deficiencies and comply with international anti-money laundering (AML) and counter-terrorism financing (CTF) standards. Despite efforts to rectify the situation, the territory has remained on the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) greylist, which can significantly impact Gibraltar-based operators.

Cooperation with Local Businesses Remains Paramount

The most recent FATF update outlined the status of all greylisted jurisdictions, focusing on their progress and remaining challenges. Despite Iceland and Malta’s quick progress and eventual redemption, Gibraltar remains on the greylist. The financial watchdog first targeted the territory due to AML and CTF failings and has closely monitored the situation, urging local authorities to implement swift reforms.

Gibraltar has remained committed to cooperating with the FATF to address its regulatory weaknesses. The government has scored significant progress, joining affected businesses to improve enforcement, enforce stricter penalties and strive for more transparent reporting practices. The FATF urged Gibraltar to sustain its momentum and demonstrate its willingness to punish offending parties.

Gibraltar should continue to work on implementing its action plan… by showing it is able to pursue more final confiscation judgments.

FATF report

Gibraltar’s position as a leading gambling hub was a leading factor behind the financial watchdog’s ongoing scrutiny. Despite the government’s stance that its regime was robust and effective, the FATF remains unconvinced. The Task Force likely seeks enforceable court rulings against high-profile AML and CTF offenders, proving that Gibraltar can perform decisive action when needed.

Gibraltar Must Act Swiftly to Prove Its Reliability

Despite the FATF’s acknowledgment of Gibraltar’s progress, it concluded that substantial strategic deficiencies remained. With all deadlines now expired, the watchdog encouraged the government to proceed with its action plan and prove that all endemic issues are resolved. Once Gibraltar achieves compliance, the FATF should finally remove the territory from the greylist.

Remaining under FATF surveillance can have significant long-term consequences for businesses stationed in Gibraltar. The EU’s recent crackdown on high-risk nations imposed increased scrutiny on all financial transactions in and out of the country, potentially hampering the day-to-day operations of operators. Such inconveniences and the region’s fraying reputation can cause businesses to relocate, hurting the local economy.

To restore its reputation as a trusted and compliant jurisdiction, Gibraltar must take immediate and decisive action. Strengthening the regulatory framework, enhancing supervision and enforcement, fostering cooperation, and implementing robust monitoring mechanisms are critical steps towards compliance. By demonstrating visible progress, Gibraltar can work towards exiting the FATF greylist and preserving its reputation as a leading financial center.

Deyan is an experienced writer, analyst, and seeker of forbidden lore. He has approximate knowledge about many things, which he is always willing to apply when researching and preparing his articles. With a degree in Copy-editing and Proofreading, Deyan is able to ensure that his work writing for GamblingNews is always up to scratch.

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