9 January 2017
An amendment to the UK Criminal Finances Bill 2017 is currently before parliament that would require the creation of publically accessible registers of beneficial ownership of companies registered in UK overseas territories.
The provisions of the amendment would require the Secretary of State to provide all reasonable assistance to the governments of overseas territories to enable each of those governments to establish a publicly accessible register of the beneficial ownership of companies registered in that government’s jurisdiction. Such assistance is to be provided by 31 December 2018 at the latest. As a second step, the Secretary of State would be required to prepare an order by 31 December 2019 that would require an overseas territory to adopt such a register if it has not yet done so.
UK overseas territories include Anguilla, Bermuda, the British Virgin Islands, the Cayman Islands, Gibraltar, Montserrat, and the Turks & Caicos Islands among others.
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