Vince Cable plans public register of company owners

23 - 04 - 2014

 Companies will be forced to list their true owners on a public register in a bid to combat tax evasion and money-laundering, Vince Cable had said.

The business secretary has described the list as being a way to tackle the “darker side of capitalism”.

The plans follow concerns that opaque UK corporate structures can be used to channel or hide illicit funds.

Campaigners are calling it an “historic step” in fighting corruption.

‘Smoke and mirrors’

“For consumers, investors and the wider public to really trust a company they need to know who is really in charge.” Said Mr Cable.

“This is why I’m making sure we take tough action tackling the darker side of capitalism and the smoke and mirrors which have existed for too long.”

“No longer will UK companies be able to use complex structures and trails of paperwork to hide information and keep the public in the dark.”

The new ideas, which are still awaiting parliamentary approval, would force UK- registered firms to give details of anyone with an interest in more than 25% of its shares or voting rights.

These details, held by Companies House, would need to be updated every year.

‘Historic Step’

There are also plans to abolish so-called ‘bearer shares’, which can be transferred untraceably, without the need to register ownership.

The government also want to stop the use of corporate directors where the company itself is viewed as the director, rather than people.

Cable also announced that the government would pass primary legislation to implement a commitment first raised by David Cameron during the British chairmanship of the G8 group of leading industrialised nations last summer.

Cable announced in July that he backed a public register of beneficial owners, rather than a register that only the UK tax authorities could access.

“This is an historic step in the fight against corruption and tax evasion”. Stated David McNair, of Save the Children. 

“For too long, shell companies have hidden vast profits behind bogus owners, while tax dodging has cheated the world’s poorest countries out of billions of pounds every year.”






Foremans LLP Umberlla
Foremans LLP