After months of tireless campaigning for increased integrity at Companies House, Business Data Group welcomes the Government’s response to the Corporate Transparency and Register Reform consultation for combating corporate crime in the UK.
The new proposals will enable Companies House to exert enhanced powers to verify the identification of company directors, as well as individuals establishing new companies on behalf of other people. It will also have the authority to investigate and remove false or misleading information that is provided during new company registrations.
The UK is currently awash with ‘dirty money’, with much of it flowing through shell companies that are easily and cheaply formed through ill-equipped systems at Companies House. The proposed new and enhanced due diligence checks will ensure the UK has greater defences against money laundering and financial crime.
A tremendous step forward in fighting corporate crime
Richard Osborne, CEO, Business Data Group, said: “This is a tremendous step forward in fighting corporate crime in the UK. It is very reassuring to see that almost all of Business Data Group’s recommendations have been included in the Government’s proposed response and we look forward to working collaboratively with the Government and other stakeholders to make these proposals come to fruition.
As we work through the pandemic, times are tougher than ever for UK’s SMEs. We will not rest on our laurels until the UK has enhanced due diligence checks that bolster its defence against money laundering practices and help rebuild the UK’s global reputation as a reputable country to do business in.”
The UK is currently one of the easiest countries in the world in which to form a company. Companies House is exempt from abiding by the rules of the anti-money laundering directive and it currently does not carry out background checks on anyone who sets up a new company. The Government estimates that financial fraud alone costs the UK economy £6.8 billion per year – the equivalent of over £100 per person.