Greater transparency to fight fraud.
David Cameron has announced new measures designed to end the use of offshore companies to diguise the purchase of high value UK property with “laundered money,” he was reported as saying that more than 100,000 property titles worth £122 billion are currently registered to offshore companies.
His speech followed closely on from the recent report that certain prime london properties maybe connected to “corrupt money” and that UK was becoming a safe haven for such transactions. He however did make it clear that the vast majority of foreign-owned businesses that invest in property in the UK are entirely legitimate and proper, and have nothing at all to hide.
David Cameron said “There is no place for dirty money in Britain. Indeed, there should be no place for dirty money anywhere, that is my message to foreign fraudsters and that London is not a place to stash your dodgy cash.”
According to the Prime Minister a first step in countering this problem would be that the Land Registry would publish data showing the full set of titles owned by foreign companies this autumn, the UK will be committed to the creation of a central registry of companies’ beneficial owners. The requirements will apply to all UK bodies corporate that currently register information on their members at Companies House, including limited liability partnerships, and the register will be made available for public inspection. It is due to be up and running next April.
He reportedly said that the UK government would “continue to make the case for transparency with international partners, to really tackle corruption effectively we need to be able to trace data from one country to another”.