Examination of Witness

Part of Financial Services Bill – in a Public Bill Committee at 2:22 pm on 19th November 2020.

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Duncan Hames:

It is certainly a welcome measure. We have found that some of the complexities of the structures and design of different corporate entities have proved difficult, in terms of the implementation of existing legislation. That was a feature of the recent Baker et al case in relation to appeal against an unexplained wealth order; there was a South American foundation, which was perhaps not the corporate structure that Members of this House had in mind when that legislation was being decided.

Addressing trustees and overseas entities, to strengthen and ensure there are no loopholes in existing legislation, is definitely to be welcomed. In the past, when the House has been considering legislation to address money-laundering risks—do not forget that another piece of legislation related to leaving the European Union is the Sanctions and Anti-Money Laundering Act 2018—it has focused on what can be done about the transparency of ownership, and not just of UK limited companies but of overseas entities, too.