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To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what assessment the Government has made of the potential merits of imposing stronger penalties on people found to have set up shell companies to launder money.
Individuals setting up a company must provide information on who ultimately owns and controls the company and keep this information up to date, in line with the requirements of the People with Significant Control register. It can assist law enforcement in their investigations of alleged criminal behaviour, including money laundering. Companies House carries out a number of checks on all information received, ensuring it is valid, complete, and in compliance with company filing requirements. When it detects or receives intelligence relating to suspicious actions, including possible money laundering, Companies House will report the information to the relevant enforcement body. The UK’s anti-money laundering regime is currently being evaluated by the Financial Action Task Force, which will report in due course. Following this evaluation, the Government will consider areas where the anti-money laundering framework can be improved.