UK To Confirm Public Register Timeline In Nov

October 25, 2023 | 0 Comments

A UK Parliamentary Under-Secretary said they will “confirm the timeline” to implement publicly accessible registers of company beneficial ownership with Bermuda and the other British Overseas Territories at the Joint Ministerial Council meeting scheduled to be held next month.

In a written question in the British Parliament, Labour MP Margaret Hodge asked, “To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what assessment he has made of the adequacy of Bermuda’s implementation of publicly accessible registers of company beneficial ownership in line with the Draft Order in Council prepared by the Secretary of State to comply with the requirement under section 51 of the Sanctions and Anti-Money Laundering Act 2018; whether the Territory has [a] introduced and [b] passed the legislation required for the creation of a publicly accessible register of company beneficial ownership; whether the register will be [i] open and [ii] free at point of access; and when the register will be [A] live and [B] operational.

David Rutley, Assistant Whip [HM Treasury], Parliamentary Under-Secretary [Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office], answered, “The Government of Bermuda [GoB] already shares confidential information on company beneficial ownership with UK law enforcement under the Exchange of Notes Arrangements. It has also committed to introduce a publicly accessible register of beneficial ownership [PARBO].

“The GoB is identifying the necessary modifications to its legislative regime to enable the creation of a PARBO that would comply with the standards set out in a written ministerial statement [HCWS369] of 14 December 2020. How Bermuda seeks to recoup the costs of operating their PARBO will be a matter for the Territory Government.

“The GoB is assessing its timeline for implementation in light of the November 2022 Court of Justice of the European Union judgment. The UK Government is engaging GoB on the issues raised by that judgment and providing technical assistance, most recently at the UK-OT Beneficial Ownership Transparency Technical Working Group on 10 October. We will confirm the timeline with Bermuda and other Overseas Territories at the Joint Ministerial Council scheduled for 14-15 November.”

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