A newly-formed team of international anti-money laundering specialists at the Malta Financial Services Authority (MFSA) has significantly increased the number of cases being handled by the financial regulator. According to MFSA’s 2019 annual report, the team reviewed 35 enforcement cases from 2018 and opened 105 new cases (25 of which focused on money laundering), while 78 cases were closed.
The team is led by MFSA’s head of financial crime compliance Anthony Eddington (previously in force at the UK’s Financial Conduct Authority) who transited from Deutsche Bank, UK, to MFSA. The new head of banking supervision David Eacott was previously employed with the Bank of England.
In 2019, the MFSA carried out 25 money laundering focused inspections at licensed entities, mainly on behalf of the Financial Intelligence Analysis Unit (FIAU). The number of checks is forecasted to reach 60 in 2020.
The financial sector remains a key economic compartment for Malta. In 2019, the industry generated 430 new jobs bringing the total of individuals employed in the sector to 12,230, just under 5% of total employment in Malta.