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ICAEW response to the BIS consultation on company beneficial ownership register

  • ICAEW (Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales) (lt green) Image

17 Aug 2015

The Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW) has published its comment letter on the consultation by BIS (The Department for Business, Innovation and Skills) on the implementation of a register of Persons with significant control (PSC register).

UK companies will be required to keep a PSC register of people with significant control over the company (those individuals who own or controls more than 25 per cent of a company’s shares or voting rights or who otherwise exercises control over a company or its management).  The PSC register will need to include details on the individuals including name, date of birth, nationality, address and details of their interest in the company.  Companies will be required to keep the PSC register up to date.

BIS previously consulted on how to implement these requirements and what guidance would be required to help companies and others understand and comply with them.  It is now consulting further on the draft secondary regulations needed to set up the register.

ICAEW notes in its response that the new regime will need to be revisited within the next two years to ensure that it complies with the revised EU Money Laundering Directive (link to Directive) requirements, which will cause more disruption to business at that time. In its view, the government could consider postponing some or all of the PSC register proposals so that they are introduced concurrently with the new Directive’s implementation.

It believes that the implementation of the register will create an additional burden for business and questions to what extent the proposed regime will meet government’s stated aims and refers to its comments on the government’s June 2013 consultation on the same topic, many of which it believes remain relevant.

The full comment letter and responses raised to all questions in the invitation to comment is available on the ICAEW website.

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