In 2017, 4MLD introduced a focus on ultimate beneficial ownership (UBO) for the purposes of risk mitigation and money laundering prevention. 5MLD builds on those steps, introducing the following measures:
- UBO lists (drawn up under 4MLD) are to be made publicly accessible.
- Trusts must observe beneficial ownership regulations and, like companies, will have that information made available to authorities or others demonstrating legitimate interest.
- UBO national registers must be inter-connected at an EU level in order to facilitate cooperation and the exchange of information between member-state authorities.
- Member-states are to strengthen their UBO verification mechanisms to ensure the information they carry is accurate and reliable.
- Members states must introduce separate UBO registers for bank accounts – unlike company UBO registers, these lists will not be publicly available and only accessible by authorities.
The requirement to register beneficial ownership and have that information publicly available is as Head of Financial Crime, at ComplyAdvantage, Livia Benisty said, “a vital first step in detecting some of the vast flows of illicit funds transmitted through the financial system, and places a handicap on the preferred instrument of money launderers globally.”
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