Press release / Feb. 28, 2017

European Parliament backs strong proposals to tackle anonymous companies and trusts

Members of the European Parliament today voted to back rigorous proposals to strengthen the EU’s anti-money laundering rules, following the Panama Papers revelations a year ago. The Parliament’s proposals would reveal the true beneficial owners of anonymous companies and secretive trusts across and beyond the EU, including foreign companies and trusts that operate in the EU. This goes well beyond the initial proposals put forward by the European Commission for public registers of beneficial ownership for EU companies and only certain kinds of trusts.

EU Member States are currently proposing that no substantial changes be made to the EU’s current anti-money laundering rules, meaning that there are likely to be tough negotiations between the Member States and the Parliament to agree a final set of changes.

The European Parliament has taken a major step forwards towards shining a light on the use of anonymous companies and secretive trusts for corruption and money laundering. It’s vital now that the EU Member States back these proposals and agree to introduce public registers of the true owners of companies and trusts. - Murray Worthy, Senior Campaigner - Banks & Corruption

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