27 Aug 2018
The UK’s parliamentary research department has published a paper on registers of beneficial ownership.
The study outlines the beneficial ownership structure in the UK, and also looks at issues around its Overseas Territories.
It explains that the UK has registers of beneficial ownership for three different types of assets: companies, properties and land, and trusts.
Information on the beneficial ownership of companies is publicly available.
For properties owned by overseas companies and legal entities, the Government plans to launch a public beneficial ownership register in 2021.
The register for trusts is not public.
The latter is in line with the EU’s Fourth Anti-Money Laundering Directive, in which the UK introduced a non-public register of beneficial ownership for trusts (July 2017).
“With the Trusts Registration Service, trustees can register their trust online and provide information on the beneficial owners of the trust. The information is only available to law enforcement bodies and the UK Financial Intelligence Unit,” it explains.
Regarding the upcoming register of overseas-owned property, the paper sheds some light on its background, explaining that:
“The then Prime Minister, David Cameron, warned foreign companies in his 2016 anti-corruption summit opening speech that they will be required to disclose the beneficial ownership of around 100,000 properties in England and Wales.
“In April 2017, the Government consulted on the design of a beneficial ownership register for UK properties owned by overseas companies and legal entities. In the consultation foreword, the Government said that this register would be the first of its kind in the world.”
Here’s a link leading to the report.
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