No exodus from Malta since FATF ‘greylisting’

Malta Financial Services Authority (MFSA) chairman John Mamo said there had not been any “dramatic exodus” of companies since Malta was placed on the ‘grey list’ by the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) last June.

Following its greylisting, Malta committed to addressing all shortcomings and drew up an action through the National Coordination Committee. The plan is largely centred around a commitment to raise efforts to combat tax crimes, including better policing of ultimate beneficial ownership rules, as well as better oversight of Malta’s tax refund system for companies with foreign shareholding,

During questioning by parliament’s appointments committee, ahead of his approval as chair for another year, Mamo said that the number of companies set up in Malta had remained unchanged.

“We haven’t seen a dramatic exodus of companies but we have also not seen many people set up here, although this was a rather strange year with COVID. Everyone must do their part but at the end of the day it is the entities directly involved that need to act and I think we are doing our utmost to get off the list,” Mamo said.

“Important companies like banks, insurance companies, have not left. I’m not saying they don’t have inconveniences since there is much more due diligence now, which is why we want to get off the grey list soon,” he said.

Mamo said he was not in a position to say when Malta would get off the grey list but the MFSA was working closely with other entities, as well as the Finance Ministry, to get off the list as soon as possible.

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