The news that the FATF has indicated that Malta’s action plan has been substantially completed was quite welcome.
We all remember how the FATF decision in June last year was met: warnings of Armageddon.
The Maltese economy was going to implode. Firms were on the verge of boarding the plane and leaving. There were reports that Malta’s foreign capital inflow could drop by €250 million, or by 7.6% of GDP.
These dark clouds never formed, let alone the perfect storm predicted. By the end of 2021, there was a record number of companies operating in the gaming sector, an increase of 6% over 2020.
Similarly, by the end of 2021, there was a record number of companies operating in the financial services sector, with an increase of a financial institution, 3 insurance undertakings, and an investment services firm.
By the end of 2021, there was a record number of companies operating in the gaming and financial services sectors.
Last year Malta’s GDP was half a billion euro larger than it was before the pandemic. The Maltese economy grew at about twice the EU average, beating forecasts strongly. There was a growth of 9.4%. The 7.6% drop was nowhere to be found.
Wait…but could it be that economic growth was despite the FATF shock? Surely, gaming and financial services must have suffered greatly… but the data show otherwise.
In 2021 gaming’s value-added was €1,263 million, up from €1,099 million. An increase of €164 million, or 15%.
In 2021 financial services’ value added was €1,199 million, up from €1,149 million. An increase of €50 million, or 4%.
Back in 2012 gaming’s value-added was €576 million, or less than half what it was last year.
As for financial services, its value-added was €621 million, or just about half what it was last year.
The facts speak for themselves.