Investing in the UK: new rules require public disclosure of ultimate owners of unlisted UK companies
From April 2016, UK-incorporated companies and limited liability partnerships will be required to maintain a register of persons having significant control over them, known as a ‘PSC register’.
This register will need to be filed with the Registrar of Companies from the end of June 2016 and will be available to the public. Companies with shares listed on certain markets including the London Stock Exchange will be exempt, as information on their significant shareholders is already disclosed to the public under the rules of those markets.
The requirement is being introduced following commitments by the UK government to increase the transparency of corporate ownership. It is targeted at those who carry out criminal activity such as money laundering behind opaque corporate structures. However, it will also impact legitimate investors with direct or indirect interests in unlisted UK companies, as information about ultimate controllers will need to be made public for the first time.
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