Ownership Registration of Different Types of Legal Structures From an International Comparative Perspective. State of Play of Beneficial Ownership - Update 2020
74 Pages Posted: 30 Jun 2020
Date Written: June 1, 2020
This paper comparatively examines the registration and disclosure requirements of the ownership of legal entities (such as companies) and arrangements (such as trusts) across 133 jurisdictions, including all OECD and EU member states as of April 2020. Beneficial ownership transparency is widely considered to be a key policy for tackling illicit financial flows that encompass cross-border financial transactions for money laundering, tax evasion, corruption and the financing of terrorism. By identifying, registering and disclosing the identities of natural persons who ultimately own or control legal vehicles, the abuse of corporate secrecy can be prevented. Yet, for the verification of beneficial ownership data in cross-border settings, and for successfully tackling investment and hedge fund opacity, it is increasingly acknowledged that beneficial ownership information alone is not enough. Rather, registration of all legal owners is a prerequisite for the integrity of ownership data. Furthermore, ownership registration is arguably a crucial prerequisite for a straightforward functioning of the automatic exchange of information under the Common Reporting Standard, especially for Ultra High Net Worth Individuals. This paper provides the most comprehensive and in-depth analysis of the current state of play of both legal and beneficial ownership registration across the planet.
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