To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, what mechanisms are in place to ensure transparency of the ownership of limited partnerships; what plans he has to (a) improve such transparency and (b) ensure that such partnerships are not set up for money laundering purposes; and if he will make a statement.
To improve transparency, the Department has established a publicly accessible central register of people with significant control (PSC register) through the Small Business, Enterprise and Employment Act 2015.
The PSC register will be an easily accessible single source of information about the ultimate owners and controllers of UK companies, Limited Liability Partnerships and Societas Europeae. From June 2016, these corporate entities will be required to make their beneficial ownership information publically available through the UK register of companies.
It is already a legal requirement that the name of each of the partners of limited partnerships be submitted to Companies House on registration. This information is available to the public free of charge through the new Companies House beta service. Companies House also works collaboratively with other government departments and agencies to tackle crime and fraud, including money laundering.
We are currently considering the scope of the UK register to ensure we comply with the European Union’s Fourth Money Laundering Directive, which requires corporate and other legal entities to obtain and hold beneficial ownership information.