Gibraltar, UAE, Uganda, Barbados No Longer Under Increased FATF Monitoring

February 26, 2024
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Gibraltar, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Uganda are no longer under increased monitoring after they were removed from the Financial Action Task Force’s (FATF) greylist on February 23.
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Gibraltar, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Uganda are no longer under increased monitoring after they were removed from the Financial Action Task Force’s (FATF) greylist on February 23.

Gibraltar’s government had stated in October 2023 that FATF was satisfied with its action plan and would, subject to an onsite inspection, remove it from the FATF greylist.

The announcement comes soon after Nigel Feetham, Gibraltar’s minister for justice, trade and industry, said the country would clarify its gambling policy priorities in the coming weeks after holding meetings with key industry stakeholders.

Barbados was also removed from increased monitoring. Meanwhile, there are now 21 nations on the greylist, with Kenya and Namibia having been added.

Fabian Picardo, Chief Minister for Gibraltar, greeted the news.

“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,” he said.

“Gibraltar's FATF whitelisting not only enhances our reputation but also strengthens our position as a trusted and compliant international financial centre.”

Povilas Randis, a partner at Adamano Consulting, said: “In response to the FATF changes, financial institutions should update their geographical risk scores and plug in the new scores into their customer risk model, transaction monitoring tool and enterprise-wide ML/TF risk assessment, or EWRA.” 

Randis added that firms should subsequently assess the impact on the customer risk scoring results and in case of changes, recalculate the customer risk scores, followed by making changes to the applied anti-money laundering/counter-terrorism financing (AML/CTF) controls to affected customers.

Removal from the list is a boon for the business reputations of the four nations, although critics of the UAE’s financial hub’s regulatory controls remain amid an EU “high-risk” listing imposed on the country in March 2023.

The UAE has made tackling financial crime shortcomings a priority in recent years in light of its poor showing with FATF. 

For example, the Gulf state has enhanced its AML/CTF regulatory regime and increased enforcement actions across its main jurisdictions, including the Dubai International Financial Centre and Abu Dhabi Global Market.

The FATF removal of the UAE from its greylist serves to boost investor confidence, potentially including gambling companies such as Wynn Resorts, which is building a casino-resort in the emirate of Ras Al-Khaimah.

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