Because this doesn’t matter?

The European Commission has published a proposal this afternoon for new legisaltion that would commit member states to open registers on the beneficial ownership of companies and to maintaining registers of trusts to which access would be available if they undertook ‘business like’ activities and the enquirer could show they had a reasonable cause for wanting data (with campaigning NGOs seemingly included in that brief).

Three thoughts. First, why are we leaving the EU when it is so clearly in the forefront of the attack on tax abuse and organised crime?

7 thoughts on “Because this doesn’t matter?”

  1. Does this legislation apply to places like the Cayman Islands? Because if not, surely we already have Companies House?

  2. Because if not, surely we already have Companies House?

    But Companies House will only record the nominal shareholder (although it will separately record reported director’s shareholdings). It won’t look through that to find the “beneficial owner”.

  3. Sure – but to what extent can member states even comply with this legislation where the beneficial owners appear to be a holding company in a tax haven?

  4. @SE – correct. Companies House receives and holds the information it is required to by law. I suspect it would have little desire (or resource) to have to look further than that and verify the identities of the ultimate beneficial owners.

    @Charlie Suet – in many (most?) of the “tax havens” the task of verifying the identities of UBOs of companies and trusts is left to the corporate service providers who set them up or run them The CSPs in turn are strictly regulated and run the risk of losing their licences if they do not keep accurate records on any of the structure they look after, so they have a real an incentive to do so. If there is any suspicion of criminal activity the law enforcement agencies can apply through the courts to have any information made available to them, which is reasonable. What it does not allow is Joe Public the right to access details of someone’s private affairs……

  5. Bloke in North Dorset

    NGOs? No way, people’s lives are at stake in countries that are lawless. If this must b done it should be on a strict need to know and only when approved by a judge.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *