The Financial Action Task Force (FATF), the global money laundering and terrorist financing watchdog, confirmed on 27 October that Gibraltar had satisfied its action plan and was scheduled, subject to successful onsite inspection, to be removed its ‘grey list’ of jurisdictions subject to increased monitoring at its next plenary meeting in February 2024.
When the FATF places a jurisdiction under increased monitoring, it means the country has committed to resolve swiftly the identified strategic deficiencies within agreed timeframes and is therefore subject to increased monitoring. This list is known as the ‘grey list’.
The FATF formally placed Gibraltar on the grey list in June 2022 due to perceived deficiencies in pursuing regulatory sanctions and final confiscation judgments. Gibraltar’s final ‘action plan’ was notably the shortest among all countries and jurisdictions subject to the increased monitoring process, consisting of only these two points.
At its October 2023 plenary meeting, the FATF determined that Gibraltar had substantially completed its action plan and warranted an on-site assessment to verify that the implementation of AML/CFT reforms had begun and was being sustained, and that the necessary political commitment remained in place to sustain implementation in the future.
It said Gibraltar had made the key reforms in “applying effective, proportionate and dissuasive sanctions for AML/CFT breaches in non-bank Financial Institutions (FIs) and Designated Non-Financial Businesses and Professions (DNFBPs) sectors” and in “pursuing final confiscation judgments commensurate with the risk and context of Gibraltar”.
“The news is cause for celebration throughout Gibraltar, signifying a highly positive outcome. I extend my gratitude to the dedicated authorities who have tirelessly worked towards meeting the action points, and we appreciate the ongoing support,” said Minister for Justice, Trade and Industry Nigel Feetham.
“We now look forward to welcoming the inspectors for the onsite visit in the coming months and the subsequent confirmation by FATF of Gibraltar’s removal from the grey list in February 2024. We have totally committed to this process and look forward to continuing to engage with the FATF as we further develop our strategies in our fight against economic crime.”
The onsite inspection is the final step in the process before a removal from the grey list and the scheduling is further evidence of the decisive steps taken by the Gibraltar authorities to meet the FATF’s standards.
“We applaud the speed at which Gibraltar has responded to the grey listing action points, which emphasises its ongoing close collaboration with the FATF,” said Nico van Zyl, Managing Director of Sovereign Trust (Gibraltar Limited). “This is a mutually beneficial relationship with this international standard-setting organisation, which is aimed at upholding the highest standards within the jurisdiction.”
“The Gibraltar government seeks to encourage and facilitate business and creates an environment that affords excellent ‘ease of doing business’, a favourable tax environment, a common law legal system, competitive operating costs, a productive, flexible and highly trained workforce and a well-developed infrastructure with world-class support services”.
If you are interested in setting up a business in, or moving to Gibraltar, Sovereign offer a comprehensive suite of company incorporation, administration and residency services to aid you on your journey.