UK company review of the Economic Crime and Corporate Transparency Bill

3rd February 2023


Following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, our financial system needs protection from kleptocracy, and other criminal and terrorist activity. The onus will be on members of UK companies to comply with Government reforms to Companies House procedures to prevent abuse.

When passed, Companies House will have greater intervention powers to query and reject filings as opposed to accepting documents and maintaining a record. This will include consideration of company names that could be used for dishonest purposes. In addition, financial penalties for breaching the new requirements can be imposed directly.

Breaches of company filing requirements will be seen as civil and criminal offences, such as the introduction of identity verification measures which will apply to new and existing company directors, PSCs and those filing with Companies House. Directors will be required to comply with these new procedures before being able to act as director for a company. What is currently a technical breach, could well become a criminal offence.

Confirmation Statements will change with the introduction of a one-off statement to include a full list of shareholder information. New and existing companies will be required to provide an email address in the first confirmation statement after commencement to avoid committing an offence.

This is just a summary of the Bill which is currently under scrutiny. Further discussion will take place on law enforcement powers for seizure of cryptoassets and the removal of the current Suspicious Activity Report stage of reporting potential money laundering and terrorist financing.

How can BHP Law help?

At BHP Law, our Corporate & Commercial team is experienced in company matters. Simply contact the team on 01325 466794 to discuss with us or arrange an appointment. 

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