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EU To Implement New 'Ultimate Owner' Rules

Monday, May 25, 2015

The European Parliament has endorsed plans to require the listing of the "ultimate owners" of companies on central registers in European Union (EU) countries.

The ultimate owners of companies will have to be listed in central registers in EU countries, open both to the authorities and to people with a "legitimate interest," such as investigative journalists.

The pending Fourth Anti-Money Laundering Directive will oblige EU member states to keep central registers containing information on the ultimate beneficial owners of corporate and other legal entities, such as trusts. The requirement was not included in the European Commission's initial proposal but was inserted by Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) during negotiations. MEPs voted in favor of the revised Directive on May 20.

The registers will be accessible to the authorities and their financial intelligence units, to "obliged entities" (such as banks carrying out customer due diligence duties), and to the public. Those requesting public access may have to register online and pay a fee to cover administrative costs. They will have to demonstrate a "legitimate interest" in suspected money laundering, terrorist financing, and in "predicate" offenses that may help to finance such activity, such as corruption, tax crimes, and fraud.

Where a request is successful, access could be given to the beneficial owner's name, the month and year in which they were born, and their country of residence, and to details about the entity's ownership.

Information on trusts will be accessible solely to the authorities and obliged entities. Where there are high-risk business relationships with "politically exposed persons" (people at a higher than usual risk of corruption due to the political positions they hold), it was agreed that additional measures should be put in place to establish the source of wealth and the funds involved. A transfers of funds regulation will improve the traceability of payers, payees, and their assets, it was said.

Once the Directive is formally adopted, member states will have two years to transpose the new Directive into their national laws. The transfers of funds regulation will be directly applicable in all member states 20 days after its publication in the EU Official Journal.

Vera Jourová, EU Justice Commissioner, welcomed the vote in Parliament: "Serious and organized crime is driven by profit - tracing the illicit proceeds of crime back to the criminal networks is essential both to detect, prosecute, and dismantle those networks and to seize and confiscate their criminal wealth. The new anti-money laundering rules adopted today will help us follow the money and crack down on money laundering and terrorist financing."

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The Report

Offshore Trusts Guide: Introduction

The History of Offshore Trusts
Development of Professional Competence in the Jurisdictions
What Future for the Trust?
The New Age of Transparency
The Swiss Association of Trust Companies
The Society of Trusts and Estates Practitioners

Offshore Trusts Guide: Jurisdictions

Bahamas

Bahamas: Legal Framework and Formation Rules and Fees
Bahamas: 2006 Private Trust Companies Legislation

Barbados

Barbados: Legal Framework and Formation Rules and Fees
Barbados: Supervisory and Licensing Regime and Fees

Bermuda

Bermuda: Legal Framework and Formation Rules and Fees
Bermuda: Supervisory and Licensing Regime and Fees

British Virgin Islands

British Virgin Islands: Legal Framework and Formation Rules and Fees
British Virgin Islands: Special Trusts Act 2003
British Virgin Islands: The Trustee Act 2003
British Virgin Islands: :Supervisory and Licensing Regime and Fees
British Virgin Islands: New Laws on Private Trust Companies
British Virgin Islands: New Private Trust Company Regulations

Cayman Islands

Cayman Islands: Legal Framework and Formation Rules and Fees
Cayman Islands: Supervisory and Licensing Regime and Fees

Cook Islands

Cook Islands: Legal Framework and Formation Rules and Fees
Cook Islands: Supervisory and Licensing Regime and Fees

Cyprus

Cyprus: Legal Framework and Formation Rules and Fees
Cyprus: Supervision, Licensing and Tax

Gibraltar

Gibraltar: Legal Framework and Formation Rules and Fees
Gibraltar: Legislation, Regulation and Supervision

Guernsey

Guernsey: Legal Framework and Formation Rules and Fees
Guernsey: Trusts Law 2007

Isle of Man

Isle of Man: Legal Framework and Formation Rules and Fees
Isle of Man: Supervisory and Licensing Regime
Isle of Man: Uses Clients and Tax Treatment

Jersey

Jersey: Legal Framework and Formation Rules and Fees
Jersey: Supervisory and Licensing Regime
Jersey: Trusts Amendment Act 2006
Jersey: Foundations

Liechtenstein

Liechtenstein: Legal Framework and Formation Rules and Fees
Liechtenstein: Regulation Supervision and Transparency
Liechtenstein: Characteristics of Liechtenstein Trusts
Liechtenstein: Foundations

Madeira

Madeira: Legal Framework and Formation Rules and Fees

Malta

Malta: Legal Framework and Formation Rules and Fees
Malta: The Trust and Trustees Act 2004

Mauritius

Mauritius: Legal Framework and Formation Rules and Fees
Mauritius: Characteristics of the 2001 Trusts Act
Mauritius: Additional Provisions of the 2001 Trusts Act
Mauritius: Tax Treatment

Monaco

Monaco: Legal Framework and Formation Rules and Fees

Nevis

Nevis: Legal Framework and Formation Rules and Fees

Panama

Panama: Legal Framework and Formation Rules and Fees
Panama: Requirements for Acting as Trust Company in Panama

Seychelles

Seychelles: Legal Framework and Formation Rules and Fees

Turks & Caicos

Turks & Caicos: Legal Framework and Formation Rules and Fees
Turks & Caicos: The Voidable Dispositions Ordinance

Vanuatu

Vanuatu Legal Framework and Formation Rules and Fees




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