The Basel Institute for Governance has published the Basel AML Index, which measures the risk of money laundering and terrorism financing country by country, elaborating a series of data published by various institutions, including Transparency International, the World Bank and the World Economic Forum.
The index places Malta among the countries where the risk of money laundering and terrorist financing is lowest, precisely in thirteenth place. The special ranking is led by Estonia, followed by Finland and New Zealand.
The institute elaborates the index taking into account 15 indicators, including the level of corruption, standards adopted by the financial system, application of the rule of law and political openness. A score below 5 indicates a low level of exposure to money laundering and terrorist financing.
It is interesting to note that important European countries, such as Germany, Italy, France and the United Kingdom, have obtained lower scores than the archipelago state, which obtained 3.94 as an AML index. Among the European countries where the risk is greatest, there are Cyprus (5.01), Italy (4.99), Hungary (4.90), Latvia (4.89) and the Netherlands (4.86).
In general, a slow improvement emerges worldwide. Only 27% of countries improved their score by over 0.1 points, while only one country (Tajikistan) recorded an improvement of more than 1 point. Furthermore, 16 out of the 125 states analyzed show a negative trend, a worrying future. Another disappointing fact is that 60% of countries continue to be considered at risk, as they have obtained scores equal to or greater than 5.
The five countries with the greatest improvement compared to last year were the aforementioned Tajikistan (from 8.30 to 6.28), Cambodia (from 7.48 to 6.63), Egypt (from 5.35 to 4.55), Indonesia (from 5.73 to 5.13) and Portugal (from 4.66 to 4.10).
Among the countries that have registered the greatest deterioration are Colombia (-1.41), Latvia (-0.91), Finland (-0.60), China (-0.57) and Lithuania (-0.43). However, Finland and Lithuania remain among the countries with the highest overall scores.
Mozambique, Laos, both with scores above 8, are among the last places in the ranking.
The Basel Institute of Governance, an associate institute of the University of Basel, is a Swiss non-profit foundation dedicated to collaborating with public and private partners around the world to prevent and combat corruption.