As published on timesofmalta.com, Monday 23 August, 2021.
The Malta Business Registry and the Financial Intelligence Analysis Unit have signed an agreement to share information and collaborate on investigations into the ultimate beneficial ownership of financial structures, in a bid to get Malta off an anti-money laundering grey list.
Shortcomings in acting on this sort of information was cited as one of the leading reasons Malta was placed on the FATF grey list earlier this year.
In a statement, the MBR and FIAU said that over the years they had both undertaken a series of initiatives to strengthen collaboration.
The most recent effort, they said, is the conclusion and signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the FIAU and the MBR, setting out the authorities’ mutual commitment to cooperate, exchange information, and to complement each other’s duties and functions.
The agreement focuses particularly on how the two authorities can better cooperate and collaborate when carrying out supervision, in particular the determination, identification and verification of beneficial owner(s) of commercial entities.
“These are key obligations to ensure that competent authorities can effectively prevent, detect, investigate and prosecute financial crime,” the joint statement reads.
This, they added, was especially true when it comes to money laundering and the funding of terrorism, perpetrated through the use of commercial partnerships.
The agreement will also assist so-called subject persons, professional service providers, in corroborating the information obtained through their customer due diligence process.
“The two authorities see increased cooperation and collaboration in this area as key to address the concerns expressed by the Financial Action Task Force in greylisting Malta,” they said.
The MoU was signed by Joseph Farrugia, registrar and chief executive of the MBR and Kenneth Farrugia, director of the FIAU.