Anti-money laundering and terrorist financing measures: Monaco added to the FATF’s grey list


The Principality of Monaco was awaiting the decision of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), the global money laundering and terrorist financing watchdog, which sets international standards to prevent these illegal activities and the damage they cause to society.  On June 28th, the FATF announced that Monaco had been added on the grey list of "increased monitoring due to its deficiencies in the fight against money laundering and terrorist financing".


This decision follows on from the report evaluating the measures taken in the Principality of Monaco published on January 23rd, 2023 by Moneyval, the Council of Europe body that evaluates anti-money laundering and terrorist financing measures. Moneyval called for "fundamental improvements to strengthen the effectiveness of supervision, investigation and prosecution of money laundering and the confiscation of the proceeds of crime" and terrorist financing.


The report highlighted the significant money laundering risks faced by Monaco, mainly due to its "internationally oriented financial activities". The Principality is a potential "prime target" for illicit cross-border financial flows, according to the Council of Europe. In essence, the fraud would be committed abroad, while the proceeds of the crime would be laundered in Monaco.


At that time, the country undertook to rapidly resolve the strategic failures identified within the agreed timeframe, in this case March 2024. The National Council has passed nine new laws in sixteen months, the latest in March 2024.


Despite the significant progress made by the Principality, and recognised by the FATF, on a number of actions that had been recommended by Moneyval (strengthening the means to combat terrorist financing, the creation of a new supervisory and financial intelligence authority, the introduction of targeted financial sanctions and the supervision of associations based on risk assessment), the FATF nevertheless identified several areas in which Monaco still needed to make progress. In particular, it targeted money laundering and tax fraud committed abroad, the seizure of criminal assets abroad, the level of resources allocated to magistrates, the application of effective and dissuasive sanctions, and an increase in the seizure of assets suspected of originating from criminal activities.

This explains its decision to place the Principality of Monaco on the grey list of countries under monitoring until January 2026, encouraging it to step up its actions in terms of financial transparency.


The Government of Monaco is determined to emerge from this list by implementing the corrective measures recommended by the FATF, by updating the administrative, legal and judicial arsenal with two intermediate milestones (May 2025 and September 2025).

The action plan consists of the following points:

  1. improve understanding of the risks of laundering tax fraud committed abroad;
  2. strengthen cooperation with third countries on seizure measures;
  3. effectively sanction AML/CFT-P-C* breaches;
  4. strengthen the action of the AMSF** (resources and improved processing of suspicious transaction reports);
  5. improve the effectiveness of the judicial system (resources and sanctions);
  6. develop asset seizures.


These measures to bring Monaco into line with international standards are essential if order for Monaco to emerge from this situation, which could affect its attractiveness, even if in the short term there is no budgetary impact and the Government remains optimistic about the country's growth.

Monaco had already been added on a grey list of tax havens by the OECD (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development) in April 2009, but was removed from the list in September 2009 after embarking on a major transparency drive that led to tax cooperation agreements with dozens of countries over the following years.

We have no doubt that, once again, the Principality of Monaco will succeed in adapting to the required standards and, what's more, will improve its international reputation by demonstrating its commitment to greater financial transparency, thereby guaranteeing a prosperous future and preserving the excellent reputation of the Monegasque financial centre.