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Govt says Bossino has not understood UK law on ‘high risk’ listing

Albert Isola, the Minister for Financial Services. Photo by Johnny Bugeja

The Gibraltar Government yesterday said the GSD’s Damon Bossino had not understood the legal process in the UK’s listing of Gibraltar as a “high risk” jurisdiction after the global money laundering watchdog, the Financial Action Task Force, added the Rock to its grey list earlier this year.

This was the latest salvo in a clash between No.6 Convent Place and the Opposition.

The Government said Mr Bossino “expects” the Government to explain the UK’s legal process, adding: “That is his job and what Opposition members are paid to do – their homework.”

Mr Bossino had earlier demanded an explanation from the Gibraltar Government, asking when it had become aware of the UK’s decision to place the Rock on its “high risk list” and what representations the Government had made before the publication of the new UK legislation or after it.

But the Government has repeatedly explained that the UK listing was an automatic legislative move following the FATF decision, and would have applied to any country taken on or off the list.

“Mr Bossino should have known that there is no need for an explanation as to why the United Kingdom followed their own laws and more importantly that there was never a ‘decision’ taken to do this,” No.6 Convent Place said in a statement.

“It was automatic by due process of law.”

No.6 said this is the “third statement” Government has issued explaining the point to Mr Bossino.

“Mr Bossino has really put his foot in it here but I don’t understand why he cannot just accept he made a simple mistake and we can all move on,” the Minister for Financial Services, Albert Isola, said.

“The process adopted by the UK is well known and long established.”

“Gibraltar has been treated in exactly the same way as any and every other country as UK laws require.”

“In order to assist Gibraltar, HM Treasury has engaged with Regulators and Banks on our behalf to ensure the steps taken were indeed proportionate to our Action Plan [to be taken off the FATF grey list next year] and for this continuing support we are extremely grateful.”

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