In the fight against money laundering, public registers of beneficial owners are to uncover who is behind companies. Authorities also gain insight into the ownership structures of real estate. An overwhelming majority of MEPs have just adopted the new version of the Anti-Money Laundering Directive and finally confirmed the outcome of negotiations between the European Parliament, the Council and the European Commission (“Trilogue”).
“We are making a great leap forward in the fight against money laundering. Now beneficial owners of all companies in Europe must be made public. This makes it more difficult for dubious investors to conceal who is behind real estate purchases in large cities. Public company registers will also make it easier to uncover the middlemen behind intransparent corporate networks.
Public access to the beneficial owners of companies sheds light on opaque business structures. Money launderers and tax avoiders shy away from transparency more than the devil fears holy water. It is important that journalists and NGOs will be able to identify the owners of trusts that are repeatedly abused for white-collar crime. Trusts were at the centre of the revelations of the Paradise Papers.”
The key changes to the 4th anti-money laundering directive including a detailed list of our wins and losses: