UK brings in ownership register for property held by foreign companies
11:37 JST, August 1, 2022
LONDON (Reuters) – Britain will now require foreign companies holding UK property to identify their true owners in an official register, the government said on Monday, as part of a crackdown on Russian oligarchs and corrupt elites laundering illicit wealth.
The “Register of Overseas Entities,” which becomes active from Monday, is part of a wider economic crime law enacted this year in an effort to stop the flow of illicit Russian cash into London following Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine.
It will seek to ensure criminals cannot hide behind secretive chains of shell companies, and support government efforts to root out Russian oligarchs using property in Britain to hide dirty money, the business ministry said in a statement.
“To ensure we are free of corrupt elites with suspicious wealth, we need to know who owns what,” junior business minister Martin Callanan said.
“We are lifting the curtain and cracking down on those criminals attempting to hide their illicitly obtained wealth.”
Foreign entities that already own land in the UK that is within the scope of the register will have six months to comply by identifying their beneficial owner to Companies House.
The register will apply to property bought since January 1999 in England and Wales, and since December 2014 in Scotland.
Those not complying with the new rules could face sanctions including fines of up to 2,500 pounds ($3,043) per day or five years in prison.
The register has been described as a significant provision of the economic crime law, with a Transparency International official in March calling the step a “seismic change” that will force foreign property ownership into the open. Read full story
The law was brought in in March as the government faced calls to do more to make it harder for those close to Russian President Vladimir Putin to launder dirty money through property in London, long dubbed by some as “Londongrad.”
$1 = 0.8215 pounds
"NEWS SERVICES" POPULAR ARTICLE
Japanese Actor-Director Kitano Says His New Film Explores Homosexual Relations in the Samurai World
Japan’s Nintendo Profits Jump as Its Game Sales Get a Boost from the Hit Super Mario Movie
Japan’s Nikkei Pares Early Gains as Investors Lock in Profits
Israel Searches for Traces of Hamas in Raid of Key Gaza Hospital Packed with Patients
Japan’s Nikkei Inches Down as Automakers Skid on Yen Strength
JN ACCESS RANKING
- Japan, Vietnam Trade Ministers Discuss Supply Chains, IPEF
- BOJ Ueda: Japan Increasingly Likely to Hit Inflation Target
- Stimulus Package Set to Drive Greater Govt Borrowing; Likely Effectiveness Called into Question
- Food, Beverage Price Hikes Show Signs of Easing; Fuel Prices, Consumer Frugality Slowing Down Price Rises
- Japan 2023 Food Exports Reach 1 Tril. Yen at Record Pace