Q&As

Given that we cannot rely solely on the PSC registers maintained at Companies House for CDD purposes, what else, in practical terms, can we use to identify the beneficial owner of a corporate client/customer?

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Published on LexisPSL on 07/10/2020

The following Practice Compliance Q&A provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Given that we cannot rely solely on the PSC registers maintained at Companies House for CDD purposes, what else, in practical terms, can we use to identify the beneficial owner of a corporate client/customer?
  • What/who is a beneficial owner?
  • Beneficial ownership of a body corporate
  • PSC register
  • Reporting discrepancies

Given that we cannot rely solely on the PSC registers maintained at Companies House for CDD purposes, what else, in practical terms, can we use to identify the beneficial owner of a corporate client/customer?

STOP PRESS: Draft Legal Sector Affinity Group (LSAG) AML guidance was published on 20 January 2021. It awaits approval by HM Treasury and any content may be amended before the final version is published with the Treasury's approval. This document reflects HM Treasury approved LSAG AML guidance published in 2018 and will be updated in due course.

The Money Laundering, Terrorist Financing and Transfer of Funds (Information on the Payer) Regulations 2017 (MLR 2017), SI 2017/692, as amended by the Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing (Amendment) Regulations 2019, SI 2019/1511, and from 6 October 2020, the Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing (Amendment) (EU Exit) Regulations 2020, SI 2020/911, impose obligations on organisations in relation to beneficial owners.

What/who is a beneficial owner?

The MLR 2017 identify six main categories of entity or arrangement that may have a beneficial owner:

  1. body corporate

  2. partnership

  3. trust (subject to exclusions)

  4. foundation or other legal arrangement similar to a trust

  5. estate of a deceased person in the course of administration

  6. other legal entity or legal arrangement

There is then a catch-all provision for ‘any other case’.

This Q&A focusses on corporate bodies.

Beneficial ownership of a body corporate

From a standard corporate law

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