Companies: Ownership

Foreign and Commonwealth Office written question – answered on 2nd August 2016.

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Photo of Jon Ashworth Jon Ashworth Shadow Minister without Portfolio (Cabinet Office)

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what plans the Government has to force Overseas Territories and Crown Dependencies to establish public central registers of beneficial ownership.

Photo of Alan Duncan Alan Duncan Minister of State

While the Overseas Territories (OTs) and Crown Dependencies (CDs) are separate jurisdictions, and are responsible for their own fiscal matters, we are working closely with them on their role on company transparency. Our priority has been for them to establish a central register of beneficial ownership information (or a similarly effective system) where they do not already have one, and for UK law enforcement and tax authorities to have full and automatic access to that information. Bilateral arrangements to this effect have now been concluded with all the relevant OTs and with the CDs, and these will enter into effect by June 2017. The registers will, with one exception, not be public, but these measures will place our Crown Dependencies and Overseas Territories well ahead of other similar jurisdictions and represent a significant step forward in our ability to counter criminal activity.

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