Finance Minister Clyde Caruana on Monday assured Malta will continue beefing up its anti-money laundering systems.

Ahead of a crucial vote on Wednesday which could see Malta placed on an FATF grey list, Caruana assured the government would continue acting in good faith to implement changes. 

Clyde Caruana speaks to journalists. Video: Matthew Mirabelli

He assured that the government would not simply abandon its efforts if it managed to avoid a greylisting. 

The finance minister said the momentum built up over the past year-and-a-half would continue regardless. 

The FATF vote will be taken by representatives from 36 jurisdictions and two regional bodies.

Caruana flew out to Germany, which sits on the FATF plenary to hold last-ditch talks before Wednesday’s vote.

The finance minister played down concerns of giving in to demands by big countries like the US and Germany in exchange for their vote within the FATF. 

“We will see what is fair, and what is not,” Caruana said of the horse-trading. 

Caruana did not specify which countries were pushing for Malta to be greylisted. 

Questioned if he was optimistic about avoiding a grey listing, Caruana said unlike Moneyval, which he was confident Malta would pass, the FATF decision was more of a “closed box”. 

He appealed for all those in a position of influence to deliver a clear message that Malta deserved to avoid the grey listing. 

Greylisting could seriously harm Malta’s economy, impacting foreign direct investment, money transactions, and even banking activity, a new study by the International Monetary Fund has found. 

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