Mystery surrounds ownership of 57,227 UK companies

Around 57,227 British companies are still not complying with new measures brought in to counter fraud and money laundering, according to big data and anti-money laundering (AML) firm Fortytwo Data.

The businesses are not yet compliant with new regulations which states they must declare those people with significant control (PSCs) over each business.

PSCs are those who own at least 25 percent of a company’s shares or finances, who control at least 25 percent of its voting rights, or have control over appointments to the board of directors.

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The rules surrounding PSCs were tightened in June last year following their introduction in April 2016, with every UK company now legally obliged to maintain a register of PSCs and to record this information with Companies House within 14 days.

The PSC register is designed to reduce the ability of money launderers to store and funnel cash using apparently legitimate corporate entities.

Julian Dixon, CEO of Fortytwo Data, said: “It’s staggering how many firms are still not meeting their legal requirements head on. The fight against money laundering in the UK is a desperate battle being waged every day and the aim of this legislation was to prevent the culprits being able to hide in plain sight.

“Identifying fraudsters and money launderers is a complex and highly sophisticated process but severe penalties and deterrents mean nothing without enforcement. Clamping down on those companies who are not recording their PSCs is a matter of national importance.”

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