EU compromise on shell company regulation is improvement but falls short

   0   0 Blog, Secrecy

FTCFrom the Financial Transparency Coalition, of which TJN is a member:

EU compromise tightens regulation on shell companies, but without public access, many still in the dark

EU nations agree to national registers of company ownership information, but deal on 4th Anti-Money Laundering Directive doesn’t ensure public access

BRUSSELS — In a deal reached last night, parliamentarians and campaigners have succeeded in making company ownership a fundamental topic. While EU nations have agreed to centralised registers of company ownership information, there is still work to be done to ensure full transparency and public access.

“The amount of progress made over the last year and a half is encouraging, and the fact that all EU nations agreed to centralized registers is a significant step,” said Koen Roovers of the Financial Transparency Coalition. “But with countries like Denmark, France, the U.K. and Ukraine announcing commitments to public access, the European Union should see the writing on the wall.”

Public registers of the real, human owners of companies would aid authorities, journalists, and civil society in tracking down criminals and the corrupt, who use anonymous companies to hijack the financial system. Unfortunately, the compromise reached only guarantees access to members of the public if they can prove a “legitimate interest”.

“Requiring the public to prove a “legitimate interest” is contradictory to the idea of transparency, and places all the burden on the public, rather than the potential criminals who are treating the European financial system like their personal launderette,” said Nienke Palstra of Transparency International.

Although the European Parliament overwhelmingly voted in favor of public registers earlier this year, the final AMLD agreement will not include full public access, and it’s possible that the EU may not review the AMLD again for years.

“In a world where money moves a mile a millisecond, without public registers we’re giving criminals and their enablers years to figure out the best ways to continue exploiting the system,” said Christian Hallum of Eurodad.

“Over 20 years, our investigations have shown the damage done by this loophole,” said Robert Palmer, Money Laundering campaign leader at Global Witness. “It is the getaway car for crime and corruption. In the last two years we’ve seen real progress, with the issue making it onto the global political agenda. We now urge all member states to follow the example of the UK and give the public access to these new registers”.

Note to Editors:

The Financial Transparency Coalition is a global network of over 150 NGOs spanning five continents, 13 governments, and dozens of experts. We work to curtail illicit financial flows through the promotion of a transparent, accountable, and sustainable financial system that works for everyone.

Contacts:
Christian Freymeyer, cfreymeyer@financialtransparency.org, +1.410.490.6850
Verena von Derschau, vvonderschau@financialtransparency.org, +33.6.95.43.29.28

See also: Global Witness, EU cracks down on anonymous company ownership, but falls short of full transparency


Related Posts

UN must defend target to curtail multinational companies’ tax abuse

Photo by Luca Santori, Creative Commons LicenseThe Tax Justice Network, The Independent Commission for the Reform of International Corporate Taxation, and the Global Alliance for Tax Justice call on the UN Secretary General to make sure the commitment to action on tax abuses by multinational companies remains part of the new UN Sustainable Development Goals.

READ MORE →

The BVI: Responsible for worldwide tax losses of $37.5 billion a year

BVI report blogAn extraordinary report by consultants Capital Economics, for BVI Finance, claims that the British Virgin Islands are responsible for $1.5 trillion of assets invested around the world, and that these result in 2.2 million jobs and $15 billion in tax revenue. A better approximation would be that the BVI imposes global tax losses of $37.5 […]

READ MORE →

Event: Making Tax Work for Women in the UK and Globally

Invitation_ Tax and Gender eventOn Wednesday 28th June 2017 at 16.30 our very own Liz Nelson will be speaking at an event in London that aims to bring together gender and tax justice advocates to highlight the need for coherent and gender-responsive fiscal policies to safeguard the rights of women and girls both in the UK and globally. The […]

READ MORE →

Historic event on women, human rights and tax justice in Bogota

BogotaLast week civil society organisations, researchers, labour union activists and policy makers met in Bogota, Colombia to explore how tax justice issues can ensure governments, multinational corporations and others meet their obligations to women in order to secure their full range of human rights. The Women’s Rights and Tax Justice conference opened with a conversation […]

READ MORE →

The Offshore Wrapper: the Panama Papers, one year on

Photos from the Protest outside PwC 1 Embankment Place, part of the Global week of action for tax justiceWelcome to the Offshore Wrapper – your weekly update from TJN.  Happy Paniversary! This week it’s been one year since the Panama Papers were leaked, and a number of organisations around the world have been marking the occasion though the global week of action for tax justice. In London, activists from the TJN and the […]

READ MORE →

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to Top