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New UK Rules Require Disclosure of Ultimate Controllers of Companies

07 September 2016

Recent legislative changes in the UK have introduced a requirement for most UK companies to maintain a public register of persons with ‘significant control’ over the company (a PSC Register). Prior to the introduction of the new rules, only the legal owners of shares were identified on the share register of a company. The UK government has introduced the new rules in order to obtain a full picture of both the legal and beneficial ownership of companies, with the overall aim of increasing corporate transparency and combatting tax evasion, money laundering and terrorist financing.

Although there are currently no rules in Ireland requiring the identification of beneficial owners of shares, this is due to change once the provisions of the Fourth Anti-Money Laundering Directive are transposed into national law.