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Economic Crime Bills and sanctions

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The Economic Crime (Transparency and Enforcement) Bill was introduced into Parliament on 1 March in response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. As part of the Bill, a new register will require overseas entities owning UK property to identify their beneficial owners and to register them with Companies House.

Information supplied to the register must be verified, and overseas entities must be registered to purchase property. Non-declaration of beneficial ownership will face restrictions on selling and face potential financial penalties including imprisonment for up to five years. The register will apply retrospectively for up to 20 years ago in England and Wales and since December 2014 in Scotland and will be held by Companies House.

Additionally, the Bill also aims to make it easier for the National Crime Agency to issue unexplained wealth orders and in coming weeks Foreign Secretary Liz Truss promised new restrictions to cut off wealthy Russians access to UK banks which will include £50,000 limits on bank accounts.

The government has also published a white paper setting out its position on reforming Companies House which will form part of a second Economic Crime Bill. This will include measures that anyone setting up, running, owning or controlling a company in the UK to verify their identity with Companies House which will have the power to challenge suspicious information. 

Issue: 1566
Categories: News