ECB’s top supervisor urges Malta to strictly monitor banks amid rising crypto industry

Andrea Enria, chair of the supervisory board at the European Central Bank (ECB), has urged authorities in Malta to strictly monitor banks amid growing cryptocurrency industry in the country.

“Non-financial risks like conduct, compliance, reputational and IT risks need to be managed in a more stringent and coherent manner, especially in the light of Malta’s leading role in blockchain and crypto technology,” Enria said in an interview with Reuters published Wednesday.

Malta is home to many crypto businesses, including the world’s largest crypto exchange Binance. In June, the European Commission also asked Malta to up its anti-money laundering (AML) game to match the growth of financial services in the country. Malta has also faced criticism from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and recently failed an international AML evaluation.

Last month, the Malta Financial Services Authority (MFSA), the country’s financial regulator, published a three-year strategic plan for 2019-2021, saying that it will “actively monitor” licensed cryptocurrency businesses in the country to prevent money laundering.

Enria said in the interview that he is "confident” that the Maltese authorities will manage to deliver the “desired results.”