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G8 conference - outcome

The G8 has endorsed certain core principles that it considers are fundamental to the transparency of ownership and control of companies.

  • Companies should know who owns and controls them; accordingly companies should be required to obtain and hold details of their beneficial ownership.
  • Beneficial ownership information on companies should be accessible onshore to law enforcement, tax administrations and other relevant authorities.
  • Trustees should know the beneficial ownership of the trust, including information on beneficiaries and settlors.  This information should be accessible by law enforcement, tax administrations and other relevant authorities.
  • Authorities should understand the risks to which their anti-money laundering and countering the financing of terrorism regime is exposed and implement effective and proportionate measures to target those risks.
  • The misuse of financial instruments and of shareholding structures which may avoid transparency, e.g. bearer shares and nominee shareholders and directors, should be prevented.
  • Financial institutions and designated non financial businesses should be subject to anti-money laundering and counter terrorist financing obligations to identify and verify the beneficial ownership of their customers.
  • Effective, proportionate and dissuasive sanctions should be available for businesses that do not comply with their respective obligations.
  • National authorities should cooperate effectively domestically and across borders to combat the abuse of companies and legal arrangements for illicit activity.
     

This does not seem too restrictive and, to be honest, may not have too major an impact on most businesses.
 

 

 

Date: 12th July, 2013
Author: Cathy Corns

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