This site uses cookies. By continuing to browse the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Find out more here.  
 

UK Register Of Companies Raises Privacy Concerns

Thursday, June 18, 2015

The introduction of a UK company ownership register from January 2016 raises privacy concerns for business owners, according to law firm Boodle Hatfield.

Under the changes, UK companies will be required to keep an updated register with details of individuals with significant control over the company. This will generally encompass anyone who ultimately owns or controls more than 25 percent of a company's shares or voting rights, or who otherwise exercises control over a company or its management.

This PSC register will include the individual's name, date of birth, nationality, address, and details of their interest in the company. In certain circumstances, the details of a parent company must be noted on the register instead as a "relevant legal entity." The information will be publicly available, with the exception of residential addresses. From April 2016, companies will need to file the information held on the PSC register with Companies House.

Boodle Hatfield said that while greater corporate transparency is to be welcomed as a deterrent to criminal activity, the changes will also impact on individuals with legitimate business interests.

Geoffrey Todd, Partner, Boodle Hatfield, commented: "The new regime raises some issues as to how confidential information is used and that may alarm individuals who value their privacy and are sensitive to how much the public know about companies they are involved in and the values of those interests. Individuals whose affairs are entirely legitimate but who want to retain privacy may find this new legislation makes it easier for others to pry into their affairs. This may particularly concern celebrities or other well-known public figures."

"There will be some scope for refusing requests for information but it remains to be seen whether the rather limited statutory provisions will provide adequate protection in sensitive cases."

The European Union (EU) is also proceeding with plans for a register of beneficial owners and trusts. The measures contained in the Fourth Anti-Money Laundering Directive will come into force from June 26 and must be implemented by EU member states within two years.

Todd added: "It is interesting to note that the EU proposes to go ahead with a register of beneficial owners of trusts, although it will not be publicly available. The UK decided not to proceed with this directly, despite initial plans to require disclosure of beneficial owners of both trusts and companies, whilst requiring greater disclosure from UK companies than will be required under EU law. However, details of individuals with significant influence or control over a trust which controls the company will need to be included on the PSC register, so some disclosure of trust interests may still be necessary under the UK legislation."

Todd advised that companies and individuals should start thinking about how they will comply with the new requirements. The UK Government is expected to publish detailed guidance on the rules later this year.

Mailing List

Click here to manage your mailing list preferences, or view our privacy statement.


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




Latest News

Jersey Proposes Infrastructure Levy
23/6/2017
Jersey is consulting on the introduction of a land development charge, to be called the Jersey Infrastructure Levy.

ADGM Establishes REIT Regime
20/6/2017
Abu Dhabi Global Market, the low-tax international financial center, has introduced a private real estate investment trusts regime.

Jersey Research Highlights China HNW Succession Issues
15/6/2017
Jersey's financial services promotion agency, Jersey Finance, has published new research on the key challenges facing wealth management practitioners working with China's wealthiest individuals.

NZ Foreign Trust Numbers Expected To Fall
27/6/2017
Fewer than 70 out of 11,645 New Zealand foreign trusts have reregistered following the introduction of tougher disclosure and eligibility requirements, with only three weeks left to go before the final deadline.

Abu Dhabi Tax-Free Zone To Launch Foundations
2/6/2017
Abu Dhabi Global Market, the low-tax international financial center, is seeking feedback on its proposal to allow the formation of "foundations," a trust-like entity widely used in civil law jurisdictions.

IoM Consults On Funds Sector Rules
22/5/2017
The Isle of Man Financial Services Authority, which supervises the island's financial services sector, is seeking feedback on draft guidance dealing with the governance of collective investment schemes.

Dubai Tax-Free Zone Seeing New Business From India
19/5/2017
The Dubai International Financial Centre, the leading financial hub in the United Arab Emirates, has become an increasingly popular destination for Indian banks, financial institutions, and fund managers, the zone has said.

Guernsey Issues Warning On 'Sark Company Registry'
18/5/2017
The Guernsey Financial Services Commission has issued a warning concerning an entity named "Sark Company Registry," while investigations are ongoing.

Abu Dhabi Free Zone Hopes To Attract Venture Capital Firms
15/5/2017
Abu Dhabi Global Market, the low-tax international financial center, has unveiled a regulatory framework for managers of venture capital funds.

Australian Budget Targets Housing, Tax Compliance
10/5/2017
Australian Treasurer Scott Morrison's 2017 Budget focused on measures to cool the housing market and crack down on tax avoidance.

Australia Delays Action On Stapled Structures
2/5/2017
The Australian Government has decided to extend a review into the taxation of stapled structures. It will not tackle the issue at the upcoming Budget.

BVI Financial Firms Need To Develop New Niches
13/4/2017
BVI Finance, the financial services industry promotional agency, has said the industry must actively adapt to target new opportunities and promote new offerings internationally.

ADGM Revises Pooled Fund Capital Req's
11/4/2017
Abu Dhabi Global Market, the low-tax international financial center, has revised the capital requirements applicable to managers of collective investment funds, with effect from April 10, 2017.

ADGM Consults On Allowing REITs
6/4/2017
Abu Dhabi Global Market, the low-tax international financial center, is consulting stakeholders on plans to allow the establishment of private real estate investment trusts.

Gibraltar To Offer Foundations
4/4/2017
Gibraltar's Parliament recently passed a bill permitting the establishment of Private Foundations.