The new Economic Crime and Corporate Transparency Bill is the biggest upgrade to Companies House in 170 years. The organisation will be given new powers to check, challenge and decline incorrect or fraudulent information submitted.
To tackle the use of limited companies by criminal kleptocrats anyone who registers a company in the UK will also have to verify their identity first. Companies House will be able to cross-check data with public and private partners as well as report any suspicious activity to law enforcement.
Those law enforcement agencies, such as the National Crime Agency, will be given greater powers to compel businesses to hand over information which could be related to money laundering or terrorist financing. It will also be made easier for agencies to recover crypto-assets which are increasingly used by organised criminals to launder profits from fraud, drugs and cybercrime and to evade sanctions.
Commenting on this Andrew Jones MP said: “This legislation builds on the Economic Crime (Transparency and Enforcement) Act brought in quickly following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. This made it much quicker to freeze assets and cut off funding for Putin’s unjustified and unjustifiable war.
“It is important that the UK is seen as a safe place to do business and I hope these changes will reassure companies of all sizes who want to invest their money here. I have also had constituents contact me having had their details fraudulently used to establish companies. I am pleased that, having had conversations with ministers about these cases, action is being taken to ensure identities are verified for anyone wanting to establish a company here.”