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LOCAL News

  • 11 Jan 2022 14:30 | Anonymous

    Council Implementing Regulation (EU) 2022/22 of 10 January 2022 implementing Regulation (EU) 2019/1716 concerning restrictive measures in view of the situation in Nicaragua and Council Decision (CFSP) 2022/24 of 10 January 2022 amending Decision (CFSP) 2019/1720 concerning restrictive measures in view of the situation in Nicaragua.

    On 10 January 2022 the Council of the European Union decided to designate seven individuals and three entities under the list of natural and legal persons, entities and bodies subject to restrictive measures set out in Annex I to Regulation (EU) 2019/1716. 

    Click on the below to read more:

    Resource 1

    Resource 2

    Please be reminded that all EU/UN sanctions are directly applicable under Maltese law (without the need of any further legislation or notification) under the National Interest (Enabling Powers) Act, cap 365 of the Laws of Malta as linked here.

    Should any of your clients be a person or entity who is listed under UN/EU or national sanctions or who is directly or indirectly owned or controlled by a listed person or entity, the freezing measures mentioned under article 17 of the Act apply.

    The Sanctions Monitoring Board is to be informed immediately of the actions that have been taken in relation to the assets of such listed persons. 

    The Sanctions Monitoring Board may be contacted on sanctions.mftp@gov.mt on any issue relating to sanctions.

    Please find below links to the:

    EU Financial Sanctions Database

    Consolidated UN Sanctions List

    EU Sanctions Map

    Sanctions Monitoring Board

  • 11 Jan 2022 14:27 | Anonymous

    Council Implementing Regulation (EU) 2022/21 of 10 January 2022 implementing Regulation (EU) No 224/2014 concerning restrictive measures in view of the situation in the Central African Republic and Council Implementing Decision (CFSP) 2022/23 of 10 January 2022 implementing Decision 2013/798/CFSP concerning restrictive measures against the Central African Republic.

    On 10 January 2022 the Council of the European Union decided to amend Annex I to Regulation (EU) No 224/2014 following the approval of the UNSC Committee established pursuant to UNSC Resolution 2127 which approved the addition of one individual to the list of persons and entities subject to restrictive measures.

    Click on the below to read more:

    Resource 1

    Resource 2

    Please be reminded that all EU/UN sanctions are directly applicable under Maltese law (without the need of any further legislation or notification) under the National Interest (Enabling Powers) Act, cap 365 of the Laws of Malta as linked here.

    Should any of your clients be a person or entity who is listed under UN/EU or national sanctions or who is directly or indirectly owned or controlled by a listed person or entity, the freezing measures mentioned under article 17 of the Act apply.

    The Sanctions Monitoring Board is to be informed immediately of the actions that have been taken in relation to the assets of such listed persons. 

    The Sanctions Monitoring Board may be contacted on sanctions.mftp@gov.mt  on any issue relating to sanctions.

    Please find below links to the:

    EU Financial Sanctions Database

    Consolidated UN Sanctions List

    EU Sanctions Map

    Sanctions Monitoring Board

  • 6 Jan 2022 12:00 | Anonymous

    The Malta Financial Services Authority (“MFSA” or “the Authority”) has become aware of an entity operating under the name of tier1fx which has an internet presence at https://www.tierl-fx.com/index.php. This website is making unauthorised use of details belonging to Tier1FX, which is the Forex brokerage division of an MFSA licensed company, Hogg Capital Investments Limited (C 18954). Fraudsters are using the details of this genuine company in an attempt to deceive the public.

    The MFSA wishes to alert the public, in Malta and abroad, that https://www.tierl-fx.com/index.php is NOT a Maltese registered Company NOR licensed or otherwise authorised by the MFSA to provide any financial services which are required to be licensed or otherwise authorised under Maltese law. Additionally, the Authority confirms that https://www.tierl-fx.com/index.php has NO association with the Maltese registered company Hogg Capital Investments Limited (C 18954) and its Forex brokerage division Tier1FX.

    The website https://www.tierl-fx.com/index.php therefore appears to be a clone of the legitimate entity and the public should therefore refrain from undertaking any business or transaction with the false entity.

  • 10 Dec 2021 14:30 | Anonymous

    The Malta Financial Services Authority (“MFSA”) has become aware of an entity operating under the name of Bristol Trading Limited which has an internet presence at www.bristoltradinglimited.com.

    The MFSA wishes to alert the public, in Malta and abroad, that www.bristoltradinglimited.com is NOT a Company incorporated in Malta NOR licensed or otherwise authorised by the MFSA to provide any Virtual Financial Asset Services or other financial services which are required to be licensed or otherwise authorised under Maltese law.

    The MFSA would like to remind consumers of financial services not to enter into any financial services transaction unless they have ascertained that the entity with whom the transaction is being made is authorised to provide such services by the MFSA or another reputable financial services regulator. Investors should also be extra cautious when being approached with offers of financial services via unconventional channels such as telephone calls or social media.

    A list of entities licensed by the MFSA can be viewed on the official website of the MFSA.

    If you are a victim of a scam or think you might be dealing with an unauthorised entity or any other type of financial scam, first of all stop all transactions with the company and contact the MFSA as soon as a suspicion arises.

  • 17 Nov 2021 16:41 | Anonymous

    On 16th November 2021 the Malta Financial Services Authority (MFSA) issued 194 authorisations for practitioners to act as company service providers, nearly doubling the previously authorised population. The concept of authorisation for company service providers was introduced by a law enacted in 2013, this previously had exempted practitioners such as lawyers and accountants and de minimis providers from needing to be authorised to act as company service providers. The Government decided to remove these exemptions and a new law was enacted in November 2020. Individuals and entities involved were allowed to carry on offering the services under transitional arrangements once applications opened in March 2021, and were given two months in which to submit their applications for authorisation. Once the application period closed in May 2021, the MFSA had six months in which to process the hundreds received, a project undertaken by the CSP Reform team set up for this leading to both large and smaller members of the sector are now being fully authorised.

    The MFSA was able to build up a holistic picture of the applicants’ suitability, with a significant number of applicants being either turned down or deciding to withdraw. Larger applicants will have received a 12-month provisional authorisation during which they are expected to supply the MFSA with other information to prove that they meet all the due diligence criteria required for full authorisation, in order to ensure the highest standards. An MFSA guidance note on this will soon be uploaded on the MFSA website.

    Ms Emily Benson head of Conduct Supervision and lead of the CSP Reform team, explained that the 2020 law was one of the action points completed from the original Moneyval assessment of the Malta jurisdiction. However, the implementation of the project within the deadline is also an important milestone when it comes to the credibility of the jurisdiction – all of which will contribute to the lifting of Malta’s greylisting by the Financial Action Task Force.

    For more information, click here.

  • 16 Nov 2021 11:00 | Anonymous

    The Malta Financial Services Authority (“MFSA” or “the Authority”) has become aware of an entity operating under the name of FxCityIndex which has an internet presence at https://www.fxcityindex.com/. Although this entity purports to operate from an address in Malta, the MFSA believes that this is not the case. On its website, the entity claims to be “authorized and regulated by MFSA as a MiFID firm and holds a Category 3 Investment Services Licence”.

    The MFSA wishes to alert the public that FxCityIndex is NOT a Maltese registered Company NOR licensed or otherwise authorised by the MFSA to provide any forex trading services or other financial services which are required to be licensed or otherwise authorised under Maltese law. The public should therefore refrain from entering into any transactions or otherwise dealing with the above-mentioned company or individual on any matters falling within the parameters of the Investment Services Act, Chapter 370 of the Laws of Malta.

    The MFSA would like to remind consumers of financial services not to enter into any financial services transaction unless they have ascertained that the entity with whom the transaction is being made is authorised to provide such services by the MFSA or another reputable financial services regulator. Investors should also be extra cautious when being approached with offers of financial services via unconventional channels such as telephone calls or social media.

    A list of entities licensed by the MFSA can be viewed on the official website of the MFSA at https://www.mfsa.mt/financial-services-register/.

    If you are a victim of a scam or think you might be dealing with an unauthorised entity or any other type of financial scam, first of all stop all transactions with the company and contact the MFSA as soon as a suspicion arises.

  • 25 Oct 2021 14:51 | Anonymous

    The FIAU would like to bring to your attention the latest FATF 'High-Risk Jurisdictions subject to a Call for Action' (previously known as ‘Public Statement’) and 'Jurisdictions under Increased Monitoring' (previously known as ‘Improving global AML/CFT compliance: on-going process’) documents issued by the FATF on 21 October 2021. A copy of these documents has been uploaded on the FIAU’s website under ‘Country Statements’.

    The FATF classifies the jurisdictions included in these documents into different categories, in accordance with the deficiencies present in such jurisdictions and the level of commitment and progress made in addressing such deficiencies.

    The categories are the following:

    1. Jurisdictions with strategic deficiencies in their regime to counter money laundering, terrorist financing, and financing of proliferation that have failed to meaningfully address their AML/CFT deficiencies and are subject to a call for counter-measures (listed under 'High-Risk Jurisdictions subject to a Call for Action’). This process is informally referred to as black listing;

    2. Jurisdictions that have developed an action plan with the FATF and have made a high-level political commitment to address their AML/CFT deficiencies (listed in the 'Jurisdictions under Increased Monitoring'). This process is informally referred to as “grey listing”. This document also lists jurisdictions that are no longer subject to the FATF on-going global AML/CFT compliance process, where applicable.

    Subject persons are required to implement the measures set out under Regulation 11 of the Prevention of Money Laundering and Funding of Terrorism Regulation S.L. 373.01 (“PMLFTR”) and under Chapter 8 of the FIAU Implementing Procedures Part I, which is legally binding upon all subject persons in terms of Regulation 17 of the PMLFTR.

    High-Risk Jurisdictions subject to a Call for Action’

    Since February 2020, in light of the COVID-19 pandemic, the FATF has paused the review process for countries in the list of High-Risk Jurisdictions subject to a Call for Action, given that they are already subject to the FATF’s call for countermeasures. Therefore, subject persons should refer to the list of ‘High-Risk Jurisdictions subject to a Call for Action’ adopted in February 2020. While the statement may not necessarily reflect the most recent status in Iran and the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea’s AML/CFT regime, the FATF’s call for action on these high-risk jurisdictions remains in effect. Subject persons should refer to Regulation 11(11) of the PMLFTR and apply the enhanced due diligence measures therein.

    'Jurisdictions under Increased Monitoring'

    Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, the FATF has provided some flexibility to jurisdictions not facing immediate deadlines to report progress on a voluntary basis. The following countries had their progress reviewed by the FATF since June 2021: Albania, Barbados, Botswana, Cambodia, Cayman Islands, Jamaica, Malta, Mauritius, Morocco, Myanmar, Nicaragua, Pakistan, Panama, Philippines, Senegal, Uganda, and Zimbabwe. Burkina Faso, Haiti, and South Sudan were given the opportunity and chose to defer reporting; thus, the statements issued for these jurisdictions may not necessarily reflect the most recent status of the jurisdiction’s AML/CFT regime. Following review, the FATF now also identifies Jordan, Mali, and Turkey.

    With regards to the enhanced due diligence measures to be applied to the above-mentioned jurisdictions, subject persons should refer to Regulation 11(10) of the Prevention of Money Laundering and Funding of Terrorism Regulations.

    Reminder: The FIAU has issued an interpretative note to guide subject persons as to how they are to adhere to their AML/CFT obligations in light of Malta being placed under increased monitoring by the FATF. The interpretative note may be downloaded from the ‘Publications & Consultation’ section of the FIAU’s website.

    In the event that any further information is required, you may contact the FIAU on queries@fiaumalta.org

  • 22 Oct 2021 13:46 | Anonymous

    The Malta Financial Services Authority (“MFSA” or “the Authority”) has become aware of an entity operating under the name of PGB Limited which had an internet presence at https://pgblimlted.com/ however, the website is currently offline. This website is using the details of a Maltese Registered Company, PGB Limited (C 76509), which does not offer financial services. Fraudsters are using the details of this genuine company in an attempt to deceive the public.

    The MFSA wishes to alert the public, in Malta and abroad, that https://pgblimlted.com/ is NOT a Maltese registered Company NOR licensed or otherwise authorised by the MFSA to provide any financial services which are required to be licensed or otherwise authorised under Maltese law. Additionally, the Authority confirms that https://pgblimlted.com/  has NO association with the Maltese registered company PGB Limited (C 76509).

    The website https://pgblimlted.com/ therefore appears to be a clone of the legitimate entity and the public should therefore refrain from undertaking any business or transaction with the false entity.

    Furthermore, information available to the MFSA suggests that https://pgblimlted.com/ is likely to be a scheme of dubious nature with a high risk of loss of money. The public should therefore refrain from undertaking any business or transactions with the above-mentioned entity.

    The MFSA would like to remind consumers of financial services not to enter into any financial services transaction unless they have ascertained that the entity with whom the transaction is authorised to provide such services by the MFSA or another reputable financial services regulator. Investors are advised to be extra cautious when being approached with offers of financial services via unconventional channels such as telephone calls or social media.

    A list of entities licensed by the MFSA can be viewed on the official website of the MFSA at https://www.mfsa.mt/financial-services-register/.

    For more information on clone companies please refer to the Scam Detection Guidelines issued by the MFSA at https://www.mfsa.mt/consumers/scams-warnings/typical-scams/. If you are a victim of a scam or think you might be dealing with an unauthorised entity or any other type of financial scam, first of all stop all transactions with the company and contact the MFSA at https://www.mfsa.mt/about-us/contact/  as soon as a suspicion arises.


  • 18 Oct 2021 13:00 | Anonymous

    Back in March, the Financial Intelligence Analysis Unit (“FIAU”) had issued a Consultation Document setting out proposals for several changes to the Implementing Procedures Part I (“IPs”). Today, on the 18th October 2021, the FIAU is issuing a revised version of the IPs, a copy of which may be accessed and/or downloaded from the FIAU’s website. The FIAU is also publishing a copy with tracked changes to show the changes made from the previously applicable version of the IPs.

    The main changes being introduced are the following:

    Adverse media

    Additional guidance is given on assessing the relevance, reliability, and timing of adverse media, and on the evaluation of supervisory and regulatory information within the context of simplified due diligence.

    For further information, subject persons may wish to consult Section 3.5.1(a) of the IPs.

    Beneficial Ownership

    The revised IPs provide additional guidance on determining the beneficial owner in certain situations, including when shares in a corporate customer are held in a trust, and when the customer is a state-owned enterprise (the latter on the basis of guidelines issued by the European Banking Authority). Guidance is also provided on how to carry out identification in cases where one or more of the beneficial owners are a corporate entity.

    For further information, subject persons may wish to consult Sections 4.2.2.1 and 4.3.2.4 (iv) of the IPs.

    The Agent

    The revised IPs clarify some aspects relating to the identification and verification obligations applicable when dealing with agents, including by explaining:

    • That when the agent is a body corporate, it is only necessary to carry out the identification and verification of the body corporate itself;
    • That the obligation to verify the identity of directors or partners of a CSP when acting as agents of a customer is only triggered in respect to those directors or partners that are authorised to legally represent the body corporate, and who exercise such powers within the context of an occasional transaction or a business relationship.
    • The verification requirements when the customer carries out financial business and empowers a significant number of individuals to act as signatories or carry out transactions on its behalf.

    For further information, subject persons may wish to consult Section 4.3.3 of the IPs

    Transaction Monitoring

    The revised IPs provide further guidance on transaction monitoring obligations, namely by explaining that when the transactions carried out by a subject person on behalf of its customers are left to the subject person’s own discretion, the subject person is not expected to monitor the transactions that it is carrying out itself. This is applicable primarily within the context of discretionary portfolio management and investment management services offered to collective investment schemes or retirement schemes.* 

    For further information, subject persons may wish to consult Section 4.5.2.1 of the IPs

    Fund Administrators servicing Collective Investment Schemes

    Guidance is given on adhering to record keeping obligations when there is a change in the fund administrator servicing a collective investment scheme, when the carrying out of AML/CFT obligations and the MLRO have been outsourced.*

    For further information, subject persons may wish to consult Section 4.6.6.1 of the IPs

    Ongoing Monitoring

    • Guidance is provided on the checks that need to be carried out in the context of low risk business relationships, particularly to determine whether the relationship still merits being considered a low risk one.
    • Guidance is also provided on the application of simplified due diligence when the customer is a collective investment scheme or a nominee/omnibus securities’ account.*

    For further information, subject persons may wish to consult Section 4.8.1 of the IPs

    MLRO

    A number of changes have been made with respect to the criteria for appointing a Money Laundering Reporting Officer (“MLRO”), including that both executive and non-executive directors may be appointed as MLROs. In addition, guidance is given on:

    • The aspects to be considered when a subject person considers appointing an MLRO that is located outside Malta;
    • The assessments to be made in situations where the MLRO has additional functions/duties within the subject person, relating to the impact on the impartiality and independence of the MLRO, on time commitments, and on the possibility of conflicts of interest;
    • Those situations that may present a conflict of interest due to personal, professional or economic ties, including the introduction of an element of proportionality which allows  subject persons to adopt mitigating measures rather than refusing or removing the (proposed) MLRO;

    The IPs also clarify that there are no restrictions on the number of Designated Employees that can be appointed, in view of the variations in the nature and size of the subject person’s activity.

    For further information, subject persons may wish to consult Section 5.1 and 5.2 of the IPs

    Jurisdictional Risk Assessment

    The jurisdictions that are to be considered for assessment purposes vary depending on the nature of the relevant activity or relevant business carried out by the subject person. Although the IPs already provide guidance on what the jurisdictional links may be, further guidance and more examples have provided. Guidance has also been provided in respect of the use of assessments carried out by third parties, in the form of criteria that need to be adhered to.

    For further information, subject persons may wish to consult Section 8.1.2 and of the IPs

    It should be noted that the above is only a summary of the main changes and therefore, all subject persons are to read the revised IPs to familiarize themselves with the most recent amendments.

    *It should further be noted that certain provisions within these IPs are applicable only within the context of specific services or sectors (as indicated in the guidance itself). Until sector specific guidance for such sectors is issued, the provisions shall remain contained in the IPs.

    Read More.

  • 7 Oct 2021 15:14 | Anonymous

    The Malta Financial Services Authority (“MFSA”) has become aware of an entity operating under the name of 247Bitcoin Trade Online (“the Entity”) which has an internet presence at https://247bitcointradeonline.com/. The entity claims to be “a Maltese directed investment services supplier that works under European and Maltese guidelines”.

    It also purports to be “authorized and regulated by MFSA as a MiFID firm and holds a Category 3 Investment Services License”, making unauthorised use and reference to the registered address and other company details of a Maltese licensed company.

    The MFSA wishes to alert the public that 247Bitcoin Trade Online is NOT a Maltese registered company NOR licensed or otherwise authorised by the MFSA to provide any investment services or other financial services which are required to be licensed or otherwise authorised under Maltese law. The public should therefore refrain from entering into any transactions or otherwise dealing with the above-mentioned entity on any matters falling within the parameters of the Investment Services Act, Chapter 370 of the Laws of Malta.

    The MFSA would like to remind consumers of financial services not to enter into any financial services transaction unless they have ascertained that the entity with whom the transaction is being made is authorised to provide such services by the MFSA or another reputable financial services regulator.  Investors are advised to be extra cautious when being approached with offers of financial services via unconventional channels such as telephone calls or social media.

    A list of entities licensed by the MFSA can be viewed on the official website of the MFSA.

    If you are a victim of a scam or think you might be dealing with an unauthorised entity or any other type of financial scam, first of all stop all transactions with the company and contact the MFSA as soon as a suspicion arises.

               

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