Gibraltar will not be issuing more sanctions and fines in response to the jurisdiction’s inclusion into the Financial Action Task Force (FATF)’s list of countries under increased monitoring, the so-called grey list.
This emerged from comments made by the Gibraltar gambling commissioner, Andrew Lyman, to iGamingBusiness.com, where he expressed confusion as to why the British-overseas territory was placed on the list in the first place.
The FATF is a global watchdog that aims to combat money laundering and the financing of terrorism. Being included in the grey list acts as a signal to the global business community that there are increased risks of doing business with a particular country. Being under increased monitoring often comes with added bureaucratic burdens when trying to effect money transfers in and out of the country, and can lead to creditors and suppliers offering less advantageous terms.
In his comments, Mr Lyman stated that Gibraltar was not found to have “fundamental, systemic anti-money laundering or terrorist financing weaknesses.”
Here, he stressed that the Gibraltar authorities will not be increasing sanctions as a response to being included in the grey list.
In the FATF decision, it provided two action points that Gibraltar must address. This is the shortest action point list delivered by the FATF, something the Gibraltar government is keen to point out. For context, Malta had three action points to addressed before it was removed from the grey list last week.
The FATF have recommended that Gibraltar ensure supervisory authorities use a range of effective, proportionate and dissuasive sanctions for AML/CFT breaches, and that it demonstrates it is more actively pursuing final confiscation judgements, through criminal or civil proceedings.
FATF President Markus Pleyer had said the territory had failed to levy sufficient AML fines and that it needs to focus on gatekeepers to the financial system, including gambling operators and lawyers.
Gibraltar was placed on the grey list on the same day that Malta was removed. The two jurisdictions are viewed as main competitors for attracting iGaming and gaming enterprises to set up shop.
The Gibraltar Government said it is committed to getting the territory off the grey list in the shortest time possible. At the earliest, it will come off the grey list in one year’s time, when the FATF enters its re-evaluation stage.
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