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:

Indeed. I think we have recently completed a consultation on it, and I hope, therefore, that it will be in the Queen’s Speech.

The register of beneficial owners of overseas entities enables us to know who really owns the foreign companies that own property real estate in this country. It was a Government commitment announced around the time of the London anti-corruption summit, which was four and a half years ago. Although that legislation has already been through pre-legislative scrutiny in both Houses, the conclusions of which were, “Get on with this; we must advance quickly,” it still has not been brought forward. These are both measures in the economic crime plan. It is great that they are in the economic crime plan, but it would be much better if they were implemented. I hope that that will be addressed very soon, but, equally, given how long one waits for legislative opportunities to keep up with the pace of nefarious actors in economic crime, if you have an opportunity to make progress in this Bill, in any additional manner, we would obviously be keen to see you take it.