Regulatory changes require deeper due diligence for beneficial owners
30 July 2020 1:37pm
Beneficial ownership remains in the media spotlight
- New rules issued by the U.S. Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) in 2018 require large financial institutions to identify beneficial owners with 25% or more ownership and conduct ongoing monitoring to identify suspicious transactions. Then in June 2019, the U.S. Corporate Transparency Act was approved by the House Financial Services Committee.
- The EU’s Fifth Money Laundering Directive (5AMLD), which comes into force this month, requires companies to do enhanced due diligence on transactions from high-risk countries. Companies need to act quickly, because over 170,000 companies in Ireland are facing prosecution for failing to record their details with a new Register of Beneficial Ownership in time for the deadline set after 4AMLD. The International Consortium of Investigative Journalists warned last month that Malta and Cyprus are “poised” to miss the deadline to meet 5AMLD enforcement deadline in January.
- A further EU Anti‐Money Laundering Directive (6AMLD) will take effect on 3 December 2020. It introduces tougher punishments for money laundering, including maximum imprisonments for
- New Unexplained Wealth Orders (UWO) in the UK allow the National Crime Agency to seize assets from anyone believed to be involved in crime who cannot account for their wealth.
- The 2018 Companies Law in Hong Kong requires companies to maintain a register of beneficial ownership information.