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Workshop on Beneficial Ownership registers as new competent authorities in Malta

26 October 2022 - 28 October 2022

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Details

Start:
26 October 2022
End:
28 October 2022
Event Category:

Venue

Malta
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Beneficial Ownership experts from EU convene in Malta for experts working group

Valetta, 28 October 2022 – The EU Global Facility on Anti-Money Laundering and Countering the Financing of Terrorism (EU GF-AML/CFT) on Wednesday 26th of October 2022 launched the second meeting of its Expert Working Group on the topic of “Beneficial Ownership Registers as Competent Authorities”, in cooperation with the Malta Business Registry (MBR).

Gathering 19 experts from 12 EU Member States, the session follows a kick off event that took place in Brussels in June 2022, where discussions revolved around the topics of Beneficial Ownership (BO) Registers evolving into competent authorities, which included discussion on verification of BO information, onsite supervision, typologies and trends analysis. Malta was represented by Dr Geraldine Spiteri Lucas from the MBR and Mr Alfred Zammit from the FIAU.

“Our ultimate goal is to ‘handbook’ tangible proposals and best practices that can be made available to stakeholders and jurisdictions who are seeking to build or enhance national beneficial ownership capabilities,” explained EU Global Facility Key Expert on Beneficial Ownership Alexandre Taymans, noting that “the purpose of these sessions is to delve deeper into the topic, discuss challenges and lessons that can be learnt and applied for technical assistance to the benefit of the EU GF partner countries. This way we can put forward an approach for more effective national and cross border beneficial ownership disclosure frameworks.”

For her part Dr Geraldine Spiteri Lucas, MBR Chief Executive Officer, explained Malta’s experience in arriving where it is today, which is having an accurate and an up-to-date Beneficial Ownership Register. ‘The effectiveness of the BO Register revolved around accuracy and accessibility by competent authorities and subject persons. Most importantly, it is crucial to have all the entities work together hand in hand. It is indeed of great pleasure for Malta to have welcomed representatives from registries across Europe discussing a subject that is dominating amongst registers fora’ said Dr. Spiteri Lucas.

Alfred Zammit, Deputy Director at the Financial Intelligence Unit of Malta, explained that Beneficial Ownership registries are becoming an increasingly important component in the fight against ML/FT, but transitioning from a registry to a competent authority is easier said than done. Sharing best practice and exploring different forms of cooperation, including with FIUs and other authorities, is therefore very-much needed and a step that we and the community all stand to gain from.

Support to partner countries’ Beneficial Ownership frameworks is a key pillar of the EU Global Facility on AML/CFT’s work around the globe. So far, the project has assisted more than 11 jurisdictions in Africa, Asia, Latin America and Europe at a bilateral level. A number of regional conferences was also organised to enhance international cooperation in this regard.