In 2016, the UK became one of the first countries to create a public register of the beneficial owners of companies. The UK register has demonstrated the feasibility of public registers and set new standards in publishing the data as open data.
Now, there are currently at least three countries implementing public beneficial ownership registers for companies, at least 12 countries committed to doing so, and 20 countries planning public registers for extractive industries. In addition, the EU is considering the establishment of public registers of beneficial ownership for companies across all 28 EU Member States.
This joint briefing with OpenOwnership seeks to learn the lessons from the experience of the UK beneficial ownership register, both where it is a model of best practice and where there is room for improvement. These lessons can help improve the UK register and provide guidance to other countries establishing registers to ensure that they are effective in tackling the money laundering risks that anonymous companies pose.
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