Beneficial Ownership

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Registry of Beneficial Ownership PUBLIC ACCESS – REMAINS DENIED

Posted in Category(ies):  Beneficial Ownership

In November 2022 the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) ruled that the rights of the public to access information on the beneficial ownership of companies was “a serious interference with the fundamental rights to respect private life, and to the protection of personal data”.

Whilst the provision of beneficial ownership originated from an EU Directive on Anti-Money Laundering the right of public access to that information impacts in so many different areas.

This is an EU wide problem as the bulk of Member States in the EU have established their own Registries of Beneficial Ownership.

Buying, selling, merging companies all include basic searches in the Companies Registration Office and Central Register of Beneficial Ownership. These searches are intended to support the information provided by the buyer, selling, merging entities and give comfort to all involved.

Would you be willing to consider buying or selling or merging with a company when you cannot verify details of beneficial ownership filed in the relevant EU Registry?

Despite immediate and widespread reaction against the ruling the reality means that for many companies throughout Europe their rights to access beneficial ownership details continue to be denied.

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Posted on Monday, 3 April 2023  |  By Kathryn Maybury  |  0 comments
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The public can no longer access beneficial ownership information

Posted in Category(ies):  Beneficial Ownership


One of the biggest talking points at the time the Beneficial Ownership Register was put in place was the fact that the public could access it. This meant the public could see the names of the beneficial owners, what percentage shareholding they might hold and even their dates of birth and home addresses!

All that has now changed further to an unexpected European Court Judgment last week. Its ruling means that from now on only 'Designated Persons' can search the Register and obtain beneficial ownership details.

From a practical point of view, the ruling will not affect the vast majority of companies. They are still obliged to ensure both their internal and external Beneficial Ownership Registers are completed in full and kept up to date. The banks as a 'Designated Person' will continue to be able to search the Register and (in our experience) refuse to/delay providing credit facilities to companies if they have queries over the information lodged.

In summary, even if Joe Public can no longer have a peep, there is still no excuse not to register your Beneficial Ownership information and keep it updated!

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Posted on Tuesday, 29 November 2022  |  By Kathryn Maybury  |  0 comments
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