Last Updated on January 10, 2023
Valetta, 26 October 2022 – The EU Global Facility on Anti-Money Laundering and Countering the
Financing of Terrorism (EU GF-AML/CFT) on Wednesday 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 learnt so 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.
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.
About the EU GF-AML/CFT: Funded by the European Commission since 2017, the EU GFAML/
CFT aims to support third countries in their efforts to prevent money laundering and cut off
access to funding for individual terrorists and terrorist organisations. Financed by the Commission’s
Service for Foreign Policy Instruments (FPI), the project is implemented by Expertise France, in
partnership with the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit and the Northern
Ireland Cooperation Overseas.