The Malta Independent 20 August 2019, Tuesday

MFSA publishes anti money laundering, countering financing of terrorism supervisory strategy

Monday, 4 February 2019, 16:28 Last update: about 8 months ago

The MFSA today published its Anti-Money Laundering/Countering Financing of Terrorism (AML/CFT) supervisory strategy articulating its plans of how AML/CFT supervision will be fused within its conduct and prudential supervisory activity.

The strategy, an MFSA statement said, is focused on enhancing the MFSA’s approach towards its role in AML/CFT supervision but also to enhance its supervisory standards in order to safeguard the integrity and trust in the Maltese financial services sector.

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Besides outlining the strategy, the MFSA provides guidelines for regulated firms indicating the applicable procedures and controls expected out of them. Working closely with the FIAU, which is the national AML/CFT supervisory agency, the MFSA’s remit is to support national AML/CFT supervision by ensuring that all regulated firms have in place broader, overarching systems and controls to counter potential money laundering activities. This is based on the fact that in its regulatory activities, the MFSA has often established that firms’ poor conduct and prudential arrangements may often lead to AML/CFT shortcomings.

As the country’s recent National Risk Assessment highlighted, money laundering and terrorist financing may represent a threat to the stability, profitability and integrity of the financial services sector but also to the jurisdiction. As Malta continues to establish itself as a leading global player in remote gaming, e-money, digital currencies and FinTech innovations, it is critically important that the MFSA strengthens its regulatory setup to mitigate any current and future risks which jurisdictions like Malta may face in the future.

Introducing the AML/CFT strategy document, MFSA CEO, Joseph Cuschieri stated that “The MFSA is committed to supporting the sector in seizing this opportunity in a safe and controlled manner by establishing a regulatory environment that fosters growth whilst clamping down on money laundering and terrorist financing.”

Cuschieri added that “The MFSA will not accept compromises and complacency in this area. We want Malta to grow responsibly and set standards which are in line or better than those of our peers in Europe. That is why we have placed money laundering and terrorist financing as one of our key priorities in the strengthening of our regulatory system. In the coming months and years, the MFSA’s challenge is to continue with its transformation programme so that it becomes a more modern financial supervisor which embraces technology and innovation, entering the FinTech space with optimism and preparedness”.

The MFSA said it is committed to supporting the financial services sector by establishing a regulatory environment which fosters growth whilst clamping down on money laundering and terrorist financing.

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