Andres Knobel ■ 30 uses for beneficial ownership (beyond anti-money laundering)

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The EU Anti-Money Laundering Directive (AMLD) amended in 2018, known as AMLD 5, required EU members to establish public access to beneficial ownership information for legal persons incorporated in the EU. However, on 22 November 2022 the European Court of Justice invalidated public access to beneficial ownership information of local legal persons. The court ruled it was not proven that any member of the public needs access to information for the purposes of combatting money laundering. 

To show that beneficial ownership information is relevant beyond the fight against money laundering and the financing of terrorism, and to support many EU countries that have rightly kept their beneficial ownership registries open to the public despite the infamous ruling, we’ve prepared a briefing on more than 30 different uses that government authorities, businesses, consumers, CSOs, journalists and other stakeholders can have for beneficial ownership information. 

This document explains each of the uses and offers a real-life example of when beneficial ownership information was, or would have been relevant, to address each of the uses. 

The document covers:  

  • 5 cases for exposing corruption  
  • 6 cases for protecting democracy, the rule of law and national assets  
  • 9 cases for exposing tax abuse  
  • 4 cases for exposing fraud and administrative violations  
  • 3 cases for protecting the environment and mitigating climate change  
  • 5 cases for ensuring fair market conditions  
  • 4 cases for creating fairer societies 

If you can think of more uses for beneficial ownership information to support a whole-government approach (where all authorities and stakeholders use and access beneficial ownership information) please contact Andres at [email protected]  

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