27 February 2024news

Barbados and Gibraltar removed from FATF Grey List

Barbados and Gibraltar have announced that they have been removed from the Financial Action Task Force’s (FATF) List of Jurisdictions Under Increased Monitoring, more widely known as the FATF Grey List.

FATF made the decision on Friday, February 23, 2024, at the organisation’s first Plenary meeting for the year. 

Barbados Attorney General Dale Marshall heralded this achievement, which reflects the consensus of the FATF that Barbados had successfully implemented its Action Plan.

The Attorney General also congratulated the members of the local Anti-Money Laundering (AML) Network whose dedication and commitment over the last four years was responsible for the country’s success, he said. 

Marshall further stated that this important development should quell many of the concerns of Barbadian financial institutions, businesses, professionals and citizens, who can now look forward to an ease in doing business locally and internationally. Investors will now have the renewed confidence that with our strengthened AML regime, the country is a safe place to invest.

He continued: “This achievement now paves the way for Barbados to be removed from the European Union Blacklist and the United Kingdom Blacklist, which meant that as far as the UK and the EU were concerned, we did not have adequate systems to fight money laundering and represented a significant risk to their respective financial markets.

“Having Barbados on those two blacklists therefore created significant difficulties for investors and businesses which rely on correspondent banking relationships to effectively do business. I now expect that we will immediately be removed by the UK, and that removal from the EU Blacklist will follow shortly thereafter.”

Marshall concluded by saying that Barbados looked forward to positive spin-offs from the delisting, and will sustain efforts to ensure an effective AML regime consistent with FATF standards.

Gibraltar's Chief Minister, Fabian Picardo, said the president of FATF had said Gibraltar had made “significant progress” and completed its action plan, leading to removal from the Grey List.

Picardo said Minister Albert Isola as Minister for Financial Services until October 2023 and since then by the new Minister for Justice, Trade and Industry, Nigel Feetham, who was in Paris at the FATF Plenary, had  working closely with law enforcement agencies, regulatory authorities and the prosecution services to undergo a process of rigorous assessments and implemented robust and sustainable measures to address its action plan.

"This recognition by the FATF reaffirms Gibraltar's status as a responsible and transparent financial centre, dedicated to upholding the highest standards of compliance with our international obligations, a Gibraltar government statement said. 

Picardo said: "This is very welcome news and I am delighted that our continued and ongoing work and political commitment to future development has been recognised. I am grateful to all the agencies and authorities that have contributed to this work as well as the private sector that has wholeheartedly joined us in our fight against economic crime. 

"Gibraltar's FATF white listing not only enhances our reputation but also strengthens our position as a trusted and compliant international financial centre. This is excellent news for the Jurisdiction.

"I particularly want to highlight the work of successive Ministers Isola and Feetham in this regard. Their political leadership in financial services and Samantha Sacramento's work in the Ministry for Justice has been essential in achieving this proud milestone.”

Feetham said: “I gave my personal commitment last October that we would be white listed at the first opportunity. We have worked hard, very hard, to deliver this and I am sincerely grateful to all the team that have made this possible not least to all the relevant public servants and my former ministerial colleagues Albert Isola and Samantha Sacramento for their work. We have not only focused on our delisting, but on the work that we have already started to plan for the next evaluation, in three 3 years, to ensure we remain fully in line with the FATF standards. We are 100% committed to fighting economic crime and playing our part with the international community in tackling money laundering and terrorist financing.”

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