Companies: Ownership

Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy written question – answered at on 11 June 2021.

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Photo of Liam Byrne Liam Byrne Labour, Birmingham, Hodge Hill

To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what estimate his Department has made of the number of (a) companies and (b) individuals who have not complied with requirements to declare beneficial ownership; and how many sanctions have been levied against individuals or companies for non-compliance.

Photo of Paul Scully Paul Scully Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy), Minister of State (London)

On 1 April 2021 the number of registered companies in the UK that had not complied with requirements to declare beneficial ownership, by not listing an ultimate beneficial owner (Person of Significant Control: PSC), was 11,107 (0.25% of the effective register). Between 01/04/19 and 31/03/2021, The Insolvency Service (which is responsible for prosecuting these offences) has achieved a total of 210 convictions, of which 91 companies and 119 directors were convicted for offences relating to the beneficial ownership of companies. Two of the convicted directors also received disqualification orders for a period of 3 years.

Companies House is unable to offer an estimation of the individuals who have not complied with requirements to declare beneficial ownership. Until a company registers the details of the individual, or a statement declaring why no details have been provided, it has no indication for the cause of the non-compliance and cannot, therefore, provide a reliable estimate.

In addition to the companies that have provided details of their Persons of Significant Control, there will be a proportion of compliant companies that have legitimately not provided details of their PSC. This is because either an exemption has been applied or a statement registered in accordance with law declaring why no details have been provided.

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