Date: 19.01.2024

by Mateusz Mazur

Malta’s 2023 National Risk Assessment: A New Chapter in Combating Financial Crime

Malta’s 2023 National Risk Assessment (NRA) has been released, offering an exhaustive analysis of the country’s vulnerabilities and threats related to money laundering, terrorist financing, proliferation financing, and targeted financial sanctions.

This assessment plays a crucial role for subject persons, equipping them with essential insights to refine their compliance and risk mitigation strategies.

The Role of the National Coordinating Committee

The assessment was orchestrated by the National Coordinating Committee on Combating Money Laundering and Funding of Terrorism (NCC). It represents a collaborative effort with various government authorities and private sector representatives, emphasizing a united front against financial crime.

The NRA reveals several critical insights:

  • A decrease in Malta’s overall money laundering residual risk since the 2018 assessment.
  • Significant improvements in sectors such as legal entities, trust and company service providers, banking, investment services, accountants, auditors, gaming, and virtual financial assets service providers.
  • Reduced risk levels in financial institutions, real estate agents, and dealers in high-value goods, though these sectors remain comparatively more susceptible to money laundering.
  • Higher risks identified include proceeds from drug trafficking, foreign organized crime, and fraud (including cybercrime).
  • Higher residual risks involve cash abuse, complex corporate structures, and acquisition of high-value properties.

The Imperative for Subject Persons

Subject persons are mandated to integrate the findings of the NRA into their risk assessment processes. This involves revising and updating controls, policies, and procedures to effectively address and mitigate these risks.

Our Comment on the Article

The 2023 National Risk Assessment of Malta is a significant step forward in the ongoing battle against financial crime. This comprehensive analysis not only highlights the progress made since 2018 but also underscores the areas needing further attention. The collaborative approach, involving both government and private sectors, is key in crafting effective strategies to combat such complex issues.

For subject persons, this NRA is not just a report but a guide to navigate through the intricacies of financial crime risks. It underscores the importance of being vigilant, adaptive, and proactive in implementing robust risk mitigation strategies. As the landscape of financial crimes evolves, so must the approaches to combat them, making this NRA an indispensable tool for entities committed to maintaining the integrity of Malta