Monaco is not on the FATF List of Countries that have been identified as having strategic AML deficiencies.
Compliance with FATF Recommendations
The last Mutual Evaluation Report relating to the implementation of anti-money laundering and counter-terrorist financing standards in Monaco was undertaken by the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) in 2013. According to that Evaluation, Monaco was deemed Compliant for 3 and Largely Compliant for 20 of the FATF 40 + 9 Recommendations.
US Department of State Money Laundering assessment (INCSR)
Monaco was deemed a Jurisdiction of Concern by the US Department of State 2016 International Narcotics Control Strategy Report (INCSR). Key Findings from the report are as follows: -
The Principality of Monaco is the second-smallest country in Europe but is considered a major banking center that closely guards the privacy of its clients. It has worked in recent years to comply with international requirements for greater openness and sharing of information. It is linked closely to France and to the economic apparatus of the EU through its customs union with France and its use of the euro as its official currency.
Monaco’s state budget is based primarily on value-added tax revenue, taxes on legal transactions, income from the real estate sector, and corporate income tax, which account for 78 percent of the total income; casino revenues constitute less than three percent of the state budget. Private banking and fund management dominate the financial sector. Monaco does not have a formal offshore sector, but approximately 60 percent of the banking sector’s total assets and deposits are owned by foreigners. Monaco publishes information about its financial sector, but banking information is not published. Credible sources estimate the country’s 35 banks and three financial institutions hold more than 300,000 accounts and manage total assets of about 750 billion euros (approximately $819.4 billion).
Money laundering charges relate mainly to offenses committed abroad. The Principality does not face ordinary forms of organized crime, nor is there a significant market for smuggled goods.
There are no international sanctions currently in force against this country.
BRIBERY & CORRUPTION
Rating (100-Good / 0-Bad)
Transparency International Corruption Index N/A
World Governance Indicator – Control of Corruption N/A
Monaco, bordering France on the Mediterranean coast, is a popular resort, attracting tourists to its casino and pleasant climate. The principality also is a banking centre and has successfully sought to diversify into services and small, high-value-added, non-polluting industries. The state retains monopolies in a number of sectors, including tobacco, the telephone network, and the postal service. Living standards are high, roughly comparable to those in prosperous French metropolitan areas.
The state has no income tax and low business taxes and thrives as a tax haven both for individuals who have established residence and for foreign companies that have set up businesses and offices. Monaco, however, is not a tax-free shelter; it charges nearly 20% value-added tax, collects stamp duties, and companies face a 33% tax on profits unless they can show that three-quarters of profits are generated within the principality. Monaco was formally removed from the OECD's "grey list" of uncooperative tax jurisdictions in late 2009, but continues to face international pressure to abandon its banking secrecy laws and help combat tax evasion. In October 2014, Monaco officially became the 84th jurisdiction participating in the OECD’s Multilateral Convention on Mutual Administrative Assistance in Tax Matters, an effort to combat offshore tax avoidance and evasion.
Monaco's reliance on tourism and banking for its economic growth has left it vulnerable to a downturn in France and other European economies which are the principality's main trade partners. In 2009, Monaco's GDP fell by 11.5% as the euro-zone crisis precipitated a sharp drop in tourism and retail activity and home sales. A modest recovery ensued in 2010 and intensified in 2013, with GDP growth of more than 9%, but Monaco's economic prospects remain uncertain, and tied to future euro-zone growth.
Agriculture - products:
banking, insurance, tourism, construction, small-scale industrial and consumer products
Exports - partners:
Europe 73.2%, Africa 14.6%, America 5.2%, Asia 4.9% (2013 est.)
Imports - partners:
Europe 70.4%, Asia 20.8%, America 4.4%, Africa 4.1% (2013 est.)
Investment Climate - US State Department
France welcomes foreign investment and has a reliable business climate that attracts investment from around the world. The French government devotes significant resources to attracting foreign investment, through policy incentives, marketing, its overseas trade promotion offices, and investor support mechanisms. France has an educated population, first-rate universities, and a talented workforce. It has a modern business culture, sophisticated financial markets, strong intellectual property protections, and innovative business leaders. The country is known for its world-class infrastructure, including high-speed passenger rail, maritime ports, extensive roadway networks and public transportation, and efficient intermodal connections. High speed (3G/4G) telephony is nearly ubiquitous and over 85% of French citizens have internet access.
The investment climate in France, though complex, is generally quite conducive to U.S. investment, as illustrated by the fact that the United States is France’s largest source of foreign direct investment (FDI stock). Around 1,200 U.S. companies in France (affiliates with assets, sales, or net income greater than $25 million) are responsible for over 450,000 jobs. (Note: Business France (a French government agency) counts smaller firms and arrives at 4,800 American firms employing 460,000 people in France. End note.) In total, there are more than 20,000 foreign-owned companies doing business in France. It is home to more than 30 of the world’s 500 largest companies. This year, France moved up one place to number 22 in the World Economic Forum’s ranking of global competitiveness.
The 2014 and 2015 American Chamber of Commerce France-Bain Barometer surveys on the outlook of U.S. companies in France have expressed a degree of pessimism on France’s business climate, specifically citing challenges such as lack of clarity in the government’s agenda, red tape and burdensome regulations, unpredictability in legislation, and the complexity of labor law. In recent years, the government has selectively intervened in corporate mergers and acquisitions and it maintains a significant stake in a few industries. Research suffers from insufficient collaboration between the public and the private sectors. Factors that can impede inward foreign investment include France’s weak economic growth (0.2% GDP growth in 2014; 1.1% in 2015), unemployment stubbornly above 10%, unpredictable economic and budget policies, the complexity of tax regimes, and the fact that France has been subject to strict European Union macroeconomic surveillance due to a prolonged period of budget deficits exceeding the EU limit of 3% of GDP.
Key sectors that have historically attracted significant foreign direct investment in France include manufacturing industries (notably the pharmaceutical, chemical, and automobile industries); financial sector; trade and repairs; information and communication; and construction and real estate. France continues to support innovation in small and medium enterprises (SMEs) via its ten-year, EUR 35 billion “Investments for the Future” (Investissements d’Avenir) program targeting green technologies, the digital economy and industrial sectors such as aeronautics, space, transportation, and shipbuilding. It developed tax incentives to spur research and innovation, such as the Research Tax Credit (CIR - Crédit Impôt Recherche) and for innovative new companies (Jeune Entreprise Innovante). Key sectors with high potential include aerospace, food products, pharmaceuticals, microelectronics, logistics, and healthcare equipment. Call centers, biotechnology, and environment are other sectors with potential. The government has announced partial privatization of state-owned firms and plans to use proceeds to reduce indebtedness and increase investment in some sectors; it has not yet provided a detailed plan but may further reduce its stakes in electricity, gas, rail transport, and postal services.
Key issues to watch include the government’s ability to plan and implement structural reforms to boost competitiveness and employment. The government has already initiated an increase in the number of Sundays businesses can open and the deregulation of some sectors. In 2015, the government continued to introduce new measures to encourage growth and investment. In particular, it implemented the Responsibility and Solidarity Pact designed to lower firms’ labor costs by EUR 30 billion by 2016, reduce corporate taxes and simplify administrative formalities. In tandem with the CICE corporate tax credit program (Crédit d’Impôt Compétitivité Emploi), the government expects the Responsibility Pact to spur the creation of approximately 500,000 jobs over the coming years. It has also recently implemented new labor laws, which strengthen vocational training and add elements of flexibility to the French labor market. In early 2016, the government unveiled – but has not yet passed into law – a package of labor market flexibility measures that would streamline legal and regulatory requirements through a revision of the labor code. One element of the 2016 labor bill (still under revision as of this writing) proposed to give companies more flexibility to set aspects of workers’ workweeks or working hours at the company level, subject to employer-employee accord. The website of Business France has a chronology of measures planned and/or implemented by the government (labeled Pro-Business Reform Agenda Highlights on page 45 of
Foreign investment represents a significant percentage of production, exports and employment in many sectors. Foreign firms employ two million individuals, account for one-third of French exports, and undertake more than 20% of corporate R&D expenditures. Rapid growth in new technologies has given way to renewed growth in traditional sectors: automobiles, metalworking, aerospace, capital goods, consultancy and services. France rejoined the top 20 largest recipients of foreign direct investment (FDI) inflows in 2014, at number 19 in annual FDI rankings published by UNCTAD (United Nations Conference on Trade and Development). FDI inflows accounted for 0.5% of GDP in 2014. According to the government agency Business France, investment projects in France were 5% lower in 2015 than the year before, but remained higher than the ten-year average. The United States accounted for 4.9% of FDI inflows in 2014, down from 18.5% the previous year. The U.S. FDI stock represents 10.4% of FDI in France or USD 76.8 billion. Based on 2013 estimates, U.S holdings of French securities totaled USD 196 billion, down from the 2011 level of USD 217 billion. Those figures likely understate U.S. investment in France, as the U.S. investments tend to be considerably older than those of other countries, and U.S. firms often finance expansions and acquisitions on domestic French capital markets or through subsidiaries in third countries. As a result, much U.S. investment in France is not recorded in balance of payments statistics, even though it may ultimately be controlled by U.S. citizens.
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