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Risk of money laundering, terrorist financing to be assessed by FIAU

The Financial Intelligence Analysis Unit has been asked by the government to lead a national risk assessment (NRA) exercise aimed at identifying, assessing and understanding the money laundering and terrorist financing risks faced by the jurisdiction as a whole.

The results of this national project will allow the authorities to develop effective and risk-based policies and actions, and to prioritise and allocate resources in the most efficient way.

At an international level, the Financial Action Task Force has been placing increasing emphasis on the assessment of these risks so that national strategies, policy decisions and actions would correspond to the risks faced by each jurisdiction.

The decision to carry out an assessment in Malta is one of a number of actions being taken to adhere to the revised FATF recommendations issued in February 2012, which place much stronger emphasis on a risk-based approach.

The EU Commission’s proposal for the fourth anti-money laundering directive issued last February also requires member states to conduct a NRA – the results of which will guide subject persons in conducting their own risk assessment, which will also become mandatory.

The FIAU is using the NRA tool specifically developed by the World Bank for such assessments. Experts from the World Bank will be providing technical assistance as needed throughout the three phases of the project.

FIAU staff will be working with a number of other local stakeholders, from ministries and authorities, to the police and constituted bodies.

The areas to be covered are an overall threat analysis, vulnerabilities at a national level and to the financial sectors, as well as to other businesses and professions.

The FIAU is aiming to wrap up the whole exercise by the fourth quarter of 2014.

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