On May 12, 2016, at the Anti-Corruption Summit held in London, the Prime Minister announced in his closing statement a new register for foreign companies that own property in the UK, forcing them to make public who really owns them.
The main points from the speech are as follows:
- for the first time, foreign companies that already hold or want to buy property in the UK will be forced to reveal who really owns them;
- 40 jurisdictions, including a number of Overseas Territories and Crown Dependencies with major financial centres will automatically share beneficial ownership information; and
- the UK will host the first ever International Anti-Corruption Coordination Centre in London to strengthen cross-border investigations.
Additionally, France, the Netherlands, Nigeria and Afghanistan will follow the UK’s lead and commit to launch their own public registers of true company ownership, while Australia, New Zealand, Jordan, Indonesia, Ireland and Georgia are to take the initial steps towards making similar arrangements.
Furthermore, 40 jurisdictions, including a number of Overseas Territories and Crown Dependencies with major financial centres, have signed up to an international deal to automatically share their beneficial ownership registers with other countries.
(Prime Minister’s Office, Speech: Anti-Corruption Summit 2016: PM's closing remarks, 12.05.16)