Companies House is to get news powers of investigation and enforcement to tackle fraud and money laundering in the UK. Once the legislative changes come into force, anyone who registers a company in the UK will need to verify their identity.
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The Economic Crime and Corporate Transparency Bill
The Economic Crime and Corporate Transparency Bill was recently laid before Parliament. The proposed legislation is the most significant upgrade to Companies House in 170 years.
Companies House – which deals with limited companies in the UK – is to get a range of new powers. These are designed to “strengthen the UK’s reputation as a place where legitimate businesses can thrive while driving dirty money out of the UK.”
What’s changing at Companies House?
Going forward, anyone who registers a company in the UK will need to verify their identity. This is to tackle the use of companies as a front for crime or foreign kleptocrats. Companies House will be able to check, challenge and decline incorrect or fraudulent information.
The agency will also get greater powers of investigation, as it will be able to cross-check data with public and private partners. Suspicious activity can be reported to security agencies and law enforcement.
The proposed legislation will also tighten registration and transparency requirements for limited partnerships, including those registered in Scotland. This is to prevent limited partnerships from being used for money laundering and other forms of financial crime.
The new legislation will also make it easier for enforcement agencies – such as the National Crime Agency – to seize, freeze and recover crypto-assets.
Other changes include:
- Reforms to give businesses more confidence to share information in order to tackle money laundering and other economic crime
- New intelligence gathering powers for law enforcement and removal of nugatory burdens on business
- Law-abiding businesses and investors across the UK to benefit from “simplified filing requirements”
Have you been accused of fraud?
Have you been accused of fraud, money laundering or another financial crime in England or Wales? Contact our fraud and financial crime solicitors. We are highly experienced defence lawyers with specialist expertise in fraud and financial crimes. We know how to get a positive outcome in your case.
Call us on 0333 009 6275. We are available to take your call 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.