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MEPs back unrestricted public access to beneficial ownership information

07 March 2017
Issue: 4590 / Categories: News

MEPs demand transparency of ownership.

EU citizens could access registers of beneficial owners of companies without having to prove a legitimate interest under amendments agreed by MEPs to the EU Anti-Money Laundering Directive.

The scope of the directive has also been expanded to cover trusts and ‘other types of legal arrangements having a structure or functions similar to trusts’. These were previously excluded on privacy grounds. Trusts will now have to meet the full transparency requirements of firms including the need to identify beneficial owners.

Under the amendments virtual currency platforms would have the same obligation as banks and other payment institutions to scrutinise their customers. This includes verifying identity details and monitoring their financial transactions to reduce the risk of virtual currencies being used to launder criminal proceeds.

The update also aims to streamline co-ordination among member states in fighting terrorism financing and money laundering. Measures include introducing centralised bank and...

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