Whose beneficial ownership register is “best”?

The UK’s Companies House has been in existence, in one form or another, for around 180 years.

But until recently (when key elements of the 2023 Economic Crime and Corporate Transparency Act came into force in March this year) it was notoriously flawed, with a verification system openly ignored and subject to abuse.

So, can the UK’s ultimate beneficial ownership model teach the USA – with its new beneficial ownership registry (established under the Corporate Transparency Act and which came into force in January this year), reporting to FinCEN – any lessons?

According to this expert analysis by Martin Kenney, it looks as though the US beneficial ownership information will be significantly less accessible – and, crucially, excludes certain key stakeholders, such as private civil victims of fraud seeking to recover misappropriated assets, from access – so there may be some limitations on its usefulness.

Read Martin’s piece in the latest edition of IFC Review.