Statement on the initiative for the systematic sharing of beneficial ownership Information

Updated 14 December 2016

“Recent leaks have served to highlight the importance of a clear understanding of the beneficial and legal owners of companies and other structures and entities. Where such information is not readily available for law enforcement authorities, both domestic and overseas, criminals are more easily able to hide financial crime including terrorist financing, money laundering and tax evasion which creates risk for all our jurisdictions in a global economy.

In this regard we are committed to implementing the existing Financial Action Task Force standards, ensuring that the legal and beneficial owners of companies, trusts, foundations, shell companies and other relevant entities and arrangements are identified and available for law enforcement authorities and tax administrations.

We have also made a political commitment to support the development of a new global system for the systematic exchange of beneficial ownership information on a reciprocal basis which is secure, respects confidentiality, is in a searchable format, minimises additional burdens and achieves a level playing field. Such enhanced international accessibility will provide law enforcement authorities with a powerful tool to track and catch cross-border criminal activity and uncover the complex trails used by criminals. We welcome the work of FATF, the OECD, and the Global Forum in improving the availability of beneficial ownership information as well as domestic and international access to such information.

We are committed to remaining at the forefront of this global agenda.”

France, Germany, Italy, Spain, United Kingdom, Afghanistan, Anguilla, Argentina, Austria, Belgium, Bermuda, Brazil, British Virgin Islands, Bulgaria, Cayman Islands, Chile, Colombia, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Gibraltar, Greece, Guernsey, Hungary, Iceland, India, Ireland, Isle of Man, Jersey, Latvia, Liberia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Mauritius, Mexico, Moldova, Montserrat, Netherlands, Nigeria, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Saudi Arabia, Seychelles, Slovakia, Slovenia, Sweden, Turks and Caicos Islands, United Arab Emirates.