Although the PSC regime has only been in force since spring
2016, the government is now consulting on changes to the regime to
make it compliant with the Fourth Money Laundering Directive.
The Directive came into force on 25 June 2015 and EU member
states must implement it by 26 June 2017.
The consultation highlights two areas where the requirements of
the Directive and the UK's existing PSC regime differ and
where, therefore, changes to the UK regime will be necessary:
The Directive requires that centrally-held beneficial ownership
information must be current. In contrast, under the UK's PSC
regime companies and LLPs only have to report once a year to
Companies House through the confirmation statement. (Companies must
keep their own PSC registers up to date, but this is not
The Directive covers a broader range of entities including
unregistered companies, open-ended investment companies, building
and friendly societies, and Scottish limited partnerships.
In July 2016, the Commission published proposals to amend the
Fourth Money Laundering Directive, including those parts of it
which deal with the disclosure of information about beneficial
ownership. These include a proposal to reduce the registration
threshold for people with significant control from 25% to 10% for
"passive non-financial entities" (i.e. holding
structures). There is also a proposal that member states must set
up central registers with the beneficial ownership information
about trusts and other types of legal arrangements having a
structure or function similar to trusts. These amendment proposals
remain subject to negotiation by EU member states, as does the
European Commission's proposal to bring forward to 1 January
2017 the date by which member states must implement both the Fourth
Money Laundering Directive and its proposed amendments.
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