Beneficial Ownership – more consistency needed in the EU


In a May 2021 report by Transparency International (TI) called ‘Access Denied? Availability and Accessibility of Beneficial Ownership Data in The European Union’ the authors explain how the great majority of countries across the European Union (24 out of 27) have a private central beneficial ownership information register in place. The three that do not are Italy, Hungary and Lithuania.

Access to the registers varies a lot across Member states and while some charge an access fee, others charge a fee, the most expensive being Sweden at €27 per request.

In Denmark, one may check all the companies on the register with the same beneficial owner as well as all companies registered at a given address. It is also possible to search by company (exact name or parts of the name) and by beneficial owner.

It’s a pity that the UK is excluded from the report’s findings which, only deal with EU Member states. Nevertheless it’s a very useful tool to help MLROs track beneficial ownership data of their clients.

The report is free of charge and may be accessed here.

For more about accountants’ AML compliance obligations, see our AML Policies, Controls & Procedures Manual for 2021.

The Manual contains all the latest requirements relevant to accountants contained in the Criminal Justice (Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing) Acts 2010 to 2021 now fully in force.  Future blogs will look at various parts of the new and existing provisions of this legislation.

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