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EU Council Endorses Beneficial Ownership Proposals

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

The Council of the European Union on April 20, 2015, endorsed proposals to require member states to maintain a central register of information on the beneficial ownership of corporate and other legal entities. It would be at the discretion of member states as to whether such information would be publicized.

Under the proposals, beneficial ownership information would be accessible to competent authorities and financial intelligence units and, in the framework of the conduct of customer due diligence, to obliged entities.

The plan was endorsed as part of a package of measures aimed at preventing money laundering and terrorist financing. The following information on beneficial owners would be retained:

  • Name;
  • Month and year of birth;
  • Nationality;
  • Country of residence; and
  • The nature and approximate extent of the beneficial interest held.

As for trusts, the central registration of beneficial ownership information will be used where the ownership of a trust has tax consequences.