Breaking News
Investing Pro 0
NEW! Get Actionable Insights with InvestingPro+ Try 7 Days Free

Britain to overhaul public company registry in dirty money crackdown

Stock Markets Sep 22, 2022 17:25
Saved. See Saved Items.
This article has already been saved in your Saved Items
 
© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Britain's Prime Minister Liz Truss arrives to attend the presentation of Addresses by both Houses of Parliament in Westminster Hall, inside the Palace of Westminster, central London on September 12, 2022, following the death of Queen Elizabeth

By Kirstin Ridley and Sinead Cruise

LONDON (Reuters) -Britain on Thursday laid out fresh plans to crack down on "dirty money" and organised crime by beefing up the powers of its public registry of companies to make it an active gatekeeper against dubious information.

Under the Economic Crime and Corporate Transparency Bill that will be considered by lawmakers, anyone registering a company in Britain will have to verify their identity. The move is aimed at stopping the use of UK-registered firms as a front for international money laundering networks and fraudsters.

The long-awaited move comes around six months after Britain introduced a previous Economic Crime Bill to try to "hobble" Russian President Vladimir Putin, as lawmakers across the political spectrum call for greater efforts to stem the flow of Russian cash into London amid an escalating war in Ukraine.

"I am delighted that today we are introducing reforms that will make it much harder for kleptocrats to shield their ill-gotten gains and treat the UK as their safe deposit box," said Security Minister Tom Tugendhat.

Transparency International UK, an anti-corruption group, has found 929 British companies involved in 89 cases of corruption and money laundering, amounting to 137 billion pounds ($154.14 billion) in economic damage.

It welcomed the government's proposals. But its director of policy, Duncan Hames, said that without sufficient resourcing or a concerted crackdown on rogue company service providers, the reforms would still not be able to adequately address Britain's role as a safe haven for illicit funds.

A government source has told Reuters that the Companies House register would be "sufficiently resourced" to meet its new requirements, which include investigation and enforcement powers to allow it to cross-check data with public and private partners and flag suspicious activity to authorities.

Companies House is Britain's public registry of companies, their directors, significant shareholders who control the business and their financial filings.

Anti-corruption groups have long called for reforms to the registry to improve transparency and tackle corruption through shell firms. At the moment, companies can be owned by nominees and many do not file full financial statements.

Britain has also separately introduced a registry for overseas entities, although it gives anonymous foreign owners of property six months to reveal their real identities - a measure the opposition Labour Party has said gives them too much time to move assets elsewhere.

($1 = 0.8888 pounds)

Britain to overhaul public company registry in dirty money crackdown
 

Related Articles

Add a Comment

Comment Guidelines

We encourage you to use comments to engage with users, share your perspective and ask questions of authors and each other. However, in order to maintain the high level of discourse we’ve all come to value and expect, please keep the following criteria in mind: 

  • Enrich the conversation
  • Stay focused and on track. Only post material that’s relevant to the topic being discussed.
  • Be respectful. Even negative opinions can be framed positively and diplomatically.
  •  Use standard writing style. Include punctuation and upper and lower cases.
  • NOTE: Spam and/or promotional messages and links within a comment will be removed
  • Avoid profanity, slander or personal attacks directed at an author or another user.
  • Don’t Monopolize the Conversation. We appreciate passion and conviction, but we also believe strongly in giving everyone a chance to air their thoughts. Therefore, in addition to civil interaction, we expect commenters to offer their opinions succinctly and thoughtfully, but not so repeatedly that others are annoyed or offended. If we receive complaints about individuals who take over a thread or forum, we reserve the right to ban them from the site, without recourse.
  • Only English comments will be allowed.

Perpetrators of spam or abuse will be deleted from the site and prohibited from future registration at Investing.com’s discretion.

Write your thoughts here
 
Are you sure you want to delete this chart?
 
Post
Post also to:
 
Replace the attached chart with a new chart ?
1000
Your ability to comment is currently suspended due to negative user reports. Your status will be reviewed by our moderators.
Please wait a minute before you try to comment again.
Thanks for your comment. Please note that all comments are pending until approved by our moderators. It may therefore take some time before it appears on our website.
 
Are you sure you want to delete this chart?
 
Post
 
Replace the attached chart with a new chart ?
1000
Your ability to comment is currently suspended due to negative user reports. Your status will be reviewed by our moderators.
Please wait a minute before you try to comment again.
Add Chart to Comment
Confirm Block

Are you sure you want to block %USER_NAME%?

By doing so, you and %USER_NAME% will not be able to see any of each other's Investing.com's posts.

%USER_NAME% was successfully added to your Block List

Since you’ve just unblocked this person, you must wait 48 hours before renewing the block.

Report this comment

I feel that this comment is:

Comment flagged

Thank You!

Your report has been sent to our moderators for review
Continue with Google
or
Sign up with Email