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yet more corporate transparency on the way?

24 March 2016

While most UK companies and LLPs are still grappling with the forthcoming requirement to maintain a new statutory register of persons with significant control and influence over them from 6 April, BIS has recently published a discussion paper on further enhancing the transparency requirements placed on foreign companies that carry out certain transactions in England and Wales.

In brief, the proposal being discussed is whether transparency requirements similar to the PSC requirements (see our previous update for further details) that will be placed on UK companies and LLPs from April onwards should extend to foreign companies that buy land or property in England and Wales or enter into public procurement contracts here.  The government is seeking views on the extent of the information that should be obtained and how that should be recorded.  One option could be to establish a further register managed by Companies House alongside the new PSC registers.  Also out for consultation is how any such new requirements should be enforced and what sanctions there should be for non-compliance. 

The government is contemplating exempting certain foreign companies which already have a publicly accessible central register of beneficial ownership information from having to provide similar information to a UK register to avoid duplication – given that the Fourth EU Money Laundering Directive will require all EU member states to maintain such registers from June 2017 this exemption should make compliance for companies registered elsewhere in the EU much more straightforward if it is brought in.

The closing date for responses to the discussion paper is 1 April 2016 and we will issue a further update on our website once the outcome of this consultation is known.

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The content on this page is provided for the purposes of general interest and information. It contains only brief summaries of aspects of the subject matter and does not provide comprehensive statements of the law. It does not constitute legal advice and does not provide a substitute for it.

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