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New Companies House powers

7 May 2024

The recently introduced Economic Crime and Transparency Act has gifted Companies House a range of new powers aimed at reducing exploitation by corporate entities to pursue illegal enterprise. The aim of the new reforms are: Introducing identity

The recently introduced Economic Crime and Transparency Act has gifted Companies House a range of new powers aimed at reducing exploitation by corporate entities to pursue illegal enterprise.

 

New Reforms Introduced by the Economic Crime and Transparency Act

The aim of the new reforms are:

  • We are introducing identity verification. All new and existing registered company directors, People with Significant Control, and those delivering documents to the Registrar will have to verify their identities. This step will enhance the accuracy of Companies House data. Consequently, it will support business decisions and law enforcement investigations.
  • We are broadening the Registrar of Companies House’s powers. The Registrar will now actively oversee company creation and maintain reliable data. New powers include the ability to check, remove or decline information. This applies to information submitted to, or already on, the companies register.
  • We are improving the financial information on the register. The register will be more reliable, complete and accurate. It will reflect the latest advancements in digital technology. As a result, this will enable better business decisions.
  • We are providing Companies House with more effective investigation and enforcement powers. We are introducing better cross-checking of data with other public and private sector bodies. Companies House can now proactively share information with law enforcement bodies. This applies when they have evidence of anomalous filings or suspicious behaviour.
  • We are enhancing the protection of personal information provided to Companies House. This will protect individuals from fraud and other harms.
  • We are implementing broader reforms to clamp down on misuse of corporate entities.

 

Additional Provisions in the Bill to Combat Economic Crime

In addition to the above, the bill will:

  • enable businesses in certain situations to share information more easily for the purposes of preventing, investigating or detecting economic crime by disapplying civil liability for breaches of confidentiality for firms who share information to combat economic crime;
  • enable proactive intelligence gathering by law enforcement and strengthening the National Crime Agency’s Financial Intelligence Unit’s (FIU) ability to obtain information from businesses relating to money laundering and terrorist financing by removing the requirement for a pre-existing Suspicious Activity Report (SAR) to have been submitted before an Information Order (IO) can be made; and
  • focus private sector and law enforcement resources on high value activity, reducing the reporting burden on businesses and enabling greater prioritisation of law enforcement resource by expanding the types of case in which businesses can deal with clients’ property without having to first submit a Defence Against Money Laundering (DAML) SAR.

As more information on the detail of how these changes will impact SMEs, we will post further updates on this newsfeed.

Source: Other Tue, 07 May 2024 00:00:00 +0100

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