Malta ranked 47 out of 110 countries analysed by the Basel Institute for Governance with the country being viewed as a medium risk jurisdiction for money laundering and terrorist financing. Regional focus ranked Malta last against its European peers with emphasis that Malta is grey-listed by the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) as a jurisdiction with strategic deficiencies in its AML/CFT framework. This places Malta as the country with the highest risk within the European Union. On a scale of 0-10, with 10 being the maximum risk, Malta scored 5.45 past the index’s overall average of 5.3 and European average of 4.02.
The report points out that despite the European Union and Western Europe having a generally lower risk than the global average, the region continues to be let down by the overall quality of AML/CFT systems. The Basel AML Index 2021 provides risk scores based on data from sources such as the FATF, Transparency International, the World Bank and the World Economic Forum covering 17 indicators relevant to assessing money laundering and terrorist financing, namely:
- Quality of AML/CFT Framework
- Bribery and Corruption
- Financial Transparency and Standards
- Public Transparency and Accountability
- Legal and Political Risks
Malta dropped 60 places over the span of a year in the Basel Institute’s Anti-Money laundering Index, dropping from its “low risk” 113th place in 2019 to 53rd place in 2020.