Foreign Companies: Property

Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy written question – answered on 9th March 2018.

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Photo of Baroness Gardner of Parkes Baroness Gardner of Parkes Conservative

To ask Her Majesty's Government what is their response to the proposal by the Mayor of London to the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy that a new public register of foreign ownership of properties be established, to combat their use for tax evasion, theft and terrorist activities.

Photo of Lord Henley Lord Henley Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)

The dataset containing title records of properties in England and Wales registered to companies incorporated outside the UK is already available to the public. The government made HM Land Registry’s Overseas Companies Ownership Data available for free for the first time on 7 November 2017.

The Government is committed to establish the new public register of beneficial ownership of overseas entities that own property in the UK and recently issued a written ministerial statement to confirm the timetable for implementation (HLWS417).

This register will be the first of its kind in the world. We need to make sure the new requirements are workable, proportionate and that the register strikes the right balance between improving transparency and minimising burdens on legitimate commercial activity.

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