On 3 November 2016, the BEIS published a discussion paper on the
transposition of Article 30 of the Fourth Money Laundering
Directive ("Money Laundering Directive")
(the implementation of the Money Laundering Directive as a whole
being separately addressed in a consultation with the HM Treasury)
relating to the beneficial ownership of corporate and other legal
Article 30 essentially requires that (i) EU Member States hold
adequate, accurate and current information on beneficial ownership
of corporate and other legal entities incorporated within their
territory in a central register and (ii) that such information is
made available to specific authorities and organisations across the
EU. BEIS considers that the existing UK people with significant
control ("PSC") regime largely meets
these requirements, but that some amendments and additions to the
following areas may be necessary to comply with the Money
Scope of the entities required to obtain and hold information.
BEIS considers that the scope of the existing domestic legislation
should be extended to all entities that are incorporated in the UK
and constitutionally capable of legitimately having a beneficial
owner. This would include: European economic interest groupings;
unregistered and open ended investment companies; investment
companies with variable capital; co-operative/community benefit
societies; building and friendly societies; credit unions; European
cooperative society; charitable incorporated organisations;
European groupings of territorial cooperation; Scottish
partnerships and limited partnerships; and royal chartered bodies.
The current tests of "significant control" in Part 1 of
Schedule 1A to the Companies Act 2006 would be adapted to
correspond with the structure of the new legal entities brought
The nature of the information on beneficial ownership
collected. It must be "adequate, accurate and current".
BEIS is proposing to amend the existing requirement of updating
with Companies House at least once every 12 months, to an
obligation for all entities to update their PSC information within
6 months of a change occurring.
Access to information on beneficial ownership. For new entities
brought into scope of the Money Laundering Directive, BEIS is
proposing that information on beneficial ownership should be
publicly accessible in a similar manner to that of the PSC register
(i.e., fully searchable online by anyone in any country, free of
charge). There is, however, a small proportion of the PSC
information which is suppressed from the public register and, as a
requirement of the Money Laundering Directive, this will be
protected information available to credit and financial
The Money Laundering Directive must be implemented by 26 June
2017. However, in its action plan against terrorist financing, the
European Commission called on Members States to bring forward the
transposition date to 1 January 2017.
The government has been working to incorporate the changes required as a result of the OECD's work on BEPS Action 5: Harmful Tax Practices, which requires implementation of a Nexus approach to the Patent Box regime.
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