Maltese regulator seeks industry coalition to combat financial crime

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Maltese regulator seeks industry coalition to combat financial crime

The Malta Financial Services Authority (MFSA) is seeking to better position Malta in the war on financial crime by partnering with companies across the financial services sectors.

The MFSA launched its initiative at a conference last week at which 300 industry representatives took part in a workshop jointly organised by the MFSA and FTI Consulting.

The scheme follows several international organisations, including the US treasury, have urged the Maltese authorities to increase their efforts to combat financial crime, including cybercrime. Last September the EU said Malta needed to do more to fight money laundering.

While the MFSA is first and foremost a regulator, it must also fulfill the role of industry partner in order to minimise the opportunities for criminals to use Malta as a vehicle for illicit activity."

And last year the European Banking Authority found "general and systemic shortcomings" in the way Malta was handling the problems of financial crime.

Marianne Scicluna, chief officer supervision at the MFSA said, "While the MFSA is first and foremost a regulator, it must also fulfil the role of industry partner in order to minimise the opportunities for criminals to use Malta as a vehicle for illicit activity."

Federica Taccogna, a senior managing director at FTI Consulting, who also spoke on the panel, said, "While it is crucial for regulated firms to continue to invest in measures which prevent criminals' abuse, regulators also need to strive to provide the necessary training through such workshops and seminars, for industry players to actively detect malicious activity."

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Christopher Copper-Ind

Christopher Copper-Ind is editor-in-chief of International Investment. Before this, he was editorial director of The Business Year, from 2014 to 2017.