The government has unveiled three new consultations to help combat fraud by reforming the UK’s register of company information. This follows an announcement earlier this year that Companies House will be reformed to clamp-down on fraud and money laundering, with directors unable to be appointed until their identity has been verified.
One of the consultations will seek views on how the new discretionary power for the registrar to query new, submitted information will work in practice. The proposals will help close loopholes that lead to abuse of the register, facilitating a crack down on the misuse of corporate structures by criminals.
The 3 consultations are as follows:
- Improving the quality and value of financial information on the UK companies register. This consultation will examine how companies might be able to file accounts once only with government, instead of separately to Companies House, HMRC and other agencies. It will also look at other areas including the filing options available to small companies and digital filings.
- Powers of the registrar. This consultation will examine the new discretionary power for the register to query information on a risk-based approach. The proposals will help close loopholes that lead to abuse of the register, facilitating a crackdown on the misuse of corporate structures by criminals.
- Implementing the ban on corporate directors. Finally, this consultation will look at tackling opaque corporate structures. This would mean that corporate directors would be prohibited unless their own boards comprise all natural persons, and those natural persons have their identities verified.