Gibraltar to be removed from the EU list of high-risk countries

15/03/2024 Stuart Dalmedo

Yesterday the European Commission (the “Commission”) adopted a Delegated Regulation amending Delegated Regulation 2016/1675 (the “Regulation”) as regards deleting Gibraltar (as well as other counties) from the list of high-risk countries identified under the Regulation (the “List”).

Since the latest amendments to the Regulation, on 23rd February 2024, the Financial Action task Force (“FATF”) removed Gibraltar (as well as other countries) from the FATF list of countries under increased monitoring (Grey List) following the implementation of the respective actions plans that Gibraltar had agreed with the FATF.

Following the measures implemented to address the action plan agreed with the FATF, the Commission’s assessment has concluded that Gibraltar no longer has strategic deficiencies in its respective anti-money laundering (AML) and Combating the Finance of Terrorism (CFT) frameworks and does not pose a significant threat to the financial system of the EU. The Commission therefore considered it appropriate to delete Gibraltar from the List.

The adopted Delegated Regulation enters into force on the twentieth day following its publication in the Official Journal of the EU.

The implications of this development extend beyond regulatory compliance. Gibraltar’s removal from the List reaffirms its status as a reputable and trustworthy financial hub, thereby bolstering investor confidence and attracting businesses seeking a secure and compliant jurisdiction for their operations.

One of the key factors contributing to Gibraltar’s successful removal from the List is its proactive approach to dealing with international stakeholders and adopt measures that align with evolving global AML/CFT standards. By meeting the stringent requirements set forth by the FATF and Commission, Gibraltar reinforces its pivotal role in facilitating legitimate economic activities whilst safeguarding against illicit financial flows.

It is essential to underscore the importance of Gibraltar’s removal from the List in the broader context of international finance. As the global finance landscape continues to evolve, jurisdictions must adapt and strengthen their regulatory frameworks to mitigate effective risks. Gibraltar’s efforts serve as a beacon of progress and exemplify the positive outcomes achievable through cooperation between regulatory authorities and the private sector.

Looking ahead, Gibraltar must remain vigilant and proactive in maintaining its regulatory compliance standards, continuing collaboration with international partners, ongoing monitoring of emerging threats, and investments in technological solutions will be essential to sustaining its reputation as a trusted financial centre.

ISOLAS Partner Stuart Dalmedo reacted to the news by saying “The removal of Gibraltar from the List is a testament to the jurisdiction’s unwavering dedication to regulatory compliance and its proactive stance on combating financial crime. This development is a significant step forward for Gibraltar, signalling to investors and businesses worldwide that Gibraltar remains a trustworthy and compliant jurisdiction for conducting business”. 

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