09 Nov 2018
The European Commission has requested Malta’s Financial Intelligence Analysis Unit step up its supervision of the banking sector after an investigation revealed that Malta had failed to ensure banks comply with EU anti-money laundering (AML) rules.
Malta has been under the spotlight over various scandals related to money laundering, in recent days the European Central Bank withdrew Malta-based Pilatus bank’s licence following money laundering allegations and the arrest of its owner over financial crime issues.
“Following the Commission’s request, the European Banking Authority (EBA) investigated and concluded that Malta’s Financial Intelligence Analysis Unit (FIAU) was breaching Union law and issued a Recommendation on 11 July 2018. It considered that Malta failed to correctly supervise financial institutions and ensure their compliance with anti-money laundering rules,” the Commission said.
It explainet that he had now adopted an opinion that requires the Maltese anti-money laundering supervisor (Financial Intelligence Analysis Unit – FIAU) to take additional measures to fully comply with its obligation under the Fourth Anti-Money Laundering Directive (4AMLD) in order ‘to effectively supervise financial institutions on its territory, including by having an effective sanctioning regime.’
First Vice-President Frans Timmermans said: “To protect the security of Europeans and ensure a safe, reliable financial system, every authority in every Member State must uphold EU money-laundering rules in full.”
In a statement, the FIAU said it is ‘continuously working to strengthen the effectiveness of its supervision activities and reinforce AML supervision in Malta,’ and that it is ‘committed to continue devoting appropriate resources in order to ensure full compliance with Union law.’
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