Beneficial ownership registers—private clients and trusts
Beneficial ownership registers—private clients and trusts

The following Private Client guidance note provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Beneficial ownership registers—private clients and trusts
  • Global developments towards beneficial ownership transparency
  • The PSC Register
  • Registration of overseas entities holding UK property
  • 4MLD beneficial ownership registers
  • What is the meaning of beneficial ownership under 4MLD?
  • 4MLD and the PSC regime
  • How does 4MLD apply to the beneficial ownership of trusts?
  • Fifth Money Laundering Directive (5MLD)
  • Brexit impact

FORTHCOMING CHANGE: The fifth anti-money laundering directive (5MLD) was published in the EU official journal on 19 June 2018 and came into force on 9 July 2018. The directive introduces broader access to information on beneficial ownership of companies and trusts, and tighter controls on certain transactions. In particular, all express trusts (not just those with a UK tax liability in a particular tax year) would need to be registered with the Trusts Registration Service under the extended rules. Member states must transpose the directive into their national laws by 10 January 2020. The government ran a consultation from 15 April to 10 June 2019, seeking views on the transposition of 5MLD into national law. See: Fifth Money Laundering Directive published in EU official journal, LNB News 22/06/2018 41.

In 2014, the G20 agreed high level principles on beneficial ownership transparency.

This Practice Note provides a summary of the steps taken by the UK, the Crown Dependencies and Overseas Territories (CDOTs), the EU and the G20 towards such transparency and highlights issues that may be of particular concern to private clients and trustees.

For guidance on the due diligence requirements imposed on private client practitioners or their law firms, see Practice Compliance content, including: AML and counter-terrorist financing—Client due diligence—law firms—overview.

Global developments towards beneficial ownership transparency

In March 2015, the UK