Yet another damning report has been released highlighting the extent to which the UK’s rules around company formation aren’t fit for purpose. Last week’s report from Global Witness exposes how criminals and the corrupt are exploiting the gaping loopholes in the UK company register. The UK introduced the world’s first publicly available register of beneficial ownership in 2016, and it is the inspection of this register that has revealed the highly suspicious results. Read more: Money laundering and cyber crime at law firms up sharply Global Witness found more than 335,000 companies have not declared a beneficial owner. Over 9,000 have owners who control more than 100 companies, while 10,000 are owned by foreign companies, which would never meet formation requirements. An astonishing 72 per cent of those companies are linked to secrecy jurisdictions. More strikingly, 208,000 companies were found to be registered to a “company factory”, the name given … [Read more...] about The UK must act now to stem the tide of money laundering
Beneficial ownership rule
Peter Harrup of BDO. Archant Recent years have seen a transformation in the taxation of property ownership in the UK, with further changes proposed over the next few years. Most property owners, investors and developers will be affected by at least some of the changes. When buying a property, stamp duty land tax is always a concern. Since April 2016, a 3% surcharge has applied to individuals buying a second home in the UK (even if their first home is overseas). We also now have special rates for first time buyers and devolved taxes with different rates and bands in Wales and Scotland. Restrictions on interest deductions for individual landlords (that will increase their taxable profits) will be fully phased in by April 2020. In parallel, restrictions now apply to companies that pay over £2m interest per year. Affected companies can submit a separate tax return to make various elections to limit the tax impact. However, failing to nominate a reporting company for a … [Read more...] about Peter Harrup: How will the coming changes to property tax affect you?
Those who hanker for a transparent world where everybody knows each other's business are now on a roll.Having browbeaten the House of Commons into enacting a statute seeking to impose public ultimate beneficial ownership (UBO) registers on the UK's overseas territories, such as the British Virgin Islands (BVI), there are moves afoot to legally fortify this legislative decision by declaring it under the heading of national security.The recent release of Parliament's Foreign Affairs Committee report Moscow's Gold: Russian Corruption in the UK is a case in point. The document opens with reference to the March 2018 nerve agent attack on Russian double agent Sergei Skripal and his daughter, Yulia, in Salisbury.Russia continues to exert influence over the world stage. She does so in many ways, including clandestine cyber-attacks and not-so-clandestine military interventions in Crimea, Syria and elsewhere. Those who rule the Russian state have grown rich via an ongoing process of kleptocracy, … [Read more...] about UK’s targeting of Russian oligarchs as a national security threat is a sham
Emeterio Sd. Perez Hans Brinker Makasiar Sicat, president and chief executive officer of the Philippine Stock Exchange (PSE), owned 17,209 PSE common shares, or 0.02 percent of 84.926 million outstanding common shares, according to a filing posted May 15, 2018 on the PSE website. As PSE president until May 6, 2017, Sicat disclosed his holdings under an “initial statement of beneficial ownership of securities.” He was also listed as a member of the exchange’s 15-person board. However, a definitive information statement (DIS) filed by the company, the PSE, listed Sicat as one of the 13 nominees for regular directors. His term as president and CEO ended on May 6, 2017. The company’s annual stockholders’ meeting listed Ramon S. Monzon as Sicat’s replacement. The list also showed the election of two independent directors, namely Dakila B. Fonacier and Vicente L. Panlilio, who were entitled each to P50,000 per diem for “each board meeting … [Read more...] about PSE execs and their pays and perks
It’s rare that backbench amendments get adopted by the government without a vote, and rarer still that they become landmark changes. Yet yesterday opposition MPs and Conservative backbenchers forced the government into a major u-turn. The UK’s overseas territories – such as the Cayman Islands, the British Virgin Islands (BVI), and Bermuda – will now have to introduce a public register of companies’ beneficial ownership, removing a cloak of legal anonymity that is often used to hide dirty money and illicit transactions. The territories are either vital cogs in an efficient global financial system or unreconstructed tax havens used by firms and individuals to avoid paying their dues, depending on your point of view. But while setting appropriate tax rates is always up for political debate, corporate secrecy is a more fundamental issue concerning the rule of law. Publishing the names people behind complex corporate structures is hardly a panacea for all … [Read more...] about The secrecy clampdown on Britain’s overseas territories is welcome – and overdue