UK Launches Consultations Aimed at Improving Corporate Transparency
The British government on Wednesday published three consultations seeking comment on proposals that would impose new reporting requirements on corporate entities and expand the powers of the UK’s registrar of company beneficial owners.
Under the proposals, Companies House would be granted a “new querying power” to obtain additional data from businesses whenever its own intelligence or evidence supplied by governmental investigators indicates that information reported by the firms may be incomplete or incorrect. The registrar would separately have greater discretion to rectify incorrect data, such as old business addresses, and to remove the names of company directors from its database when it’s believed that the names were fraudulently reported.
As part of its reform efforts, the British government would also remove a current requirement for businesses to maintain their own “Register of Directors,” making the public register of companies “the single, verified source of information with respect to directors.”
The UK is separately seeking additional industry input on plans to improve the quality of reported data and whether it should move forward with a proposal to ban corporate directors from serving on the boards of reporting entities.
“Today’s proposals set out further detail on our far-reaching reforms to ensure the Companies House register is fit for the 21st century, allowing us to crack down on fraud and money laundering, while providing businesses with greater confidence in their transactions,” said Minister for Corporate Responsibility Lord Callanan in a statement.
The closing date for submitting comments on the proposals is 3 February 2021.