To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what plans he has to introduce automated verification systems in Companies House to check the accuracy of the register of beneficial ownership for companies; and how much it costs to maintain the public register each year with regards to staff, IT and any associated overheads.
20 February 2018
There are no current plans to introduce automated verification of beneficial ownership information.
However, Companies House is undertaking a number of activities to improve the quality of information relating to beneficial ownership, the People with Significant Control (PSC) data, on the register, including:
1. contacting companies where they believe the company has misunderstood the requirements, to ensure that the records are corrected and that they comply with their legal requirements;
2. pursuing companies that have not provided PSC information in their confirmation statement or that have not provided a statement of additional matters;
3. following up with companies and PSCs where they have issued notices to their PSC (asking the PSCs to provide them with information), or restrictions (where a PSC has failed to provide information), to ensure they update the information on their company records;
4. seeking compliance from companies where there has been a complaint about missing or incorrect PSC information.
The cost of maintaining the entire public register in 2016/17 was £56.6m. Staff costs were £28.5m and non-staff administration costs were £28.1m. Further information can be found in the Companies House Annual Report and Accounts for 2016/17.