UK Creates International Business Register Targeting Illegal Foreign Funds – JURIST

United Kingdom on Monday legalization which requires all overseas entities to disclose their registered and beneficial owners.

The provision, which is part of the Economic Crime Act 2022, requires all overseas companies to list their owners and financial beneficiaries in national register. The move is part of efforts to stem the flow of illicit Russian funds to the UK following Russia’s current invasion of Ukraine. Officials hope that Russian oligarchs will not be able to use secret companies to hide their wealth and assets in the UK. Economy Minister Lord Callanan said in a statement:

We were clear that the UK is only a place for legitimate business and to ensure we are free of corrupt elites with dubious wealth we need to know who owns what. With the breakneck speed of getting this first-of-its-kind registry up and running, we’re lifting the curtain and cracking down on those criminals trying to hide their ill-gotten wealth.

Overseas companies that already operate or own land in the UK and are within the scope of the register will have six months to comply with the new law by identifying their beneficial owner House of Companies branch of government. Overseas companies that do not participate in the registry could face international sanctions, including a fine of 2,500 British pounds ($3,043) a day or five years in prison.

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