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British Overseas Territories: Ownership

Question for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office

UIN 8215, tabled on 24 May 2022

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, in the context of the conflict in Ukraine, whether the Government plans to encourage British Overseas Territories to speed up the introduction of publicly accessible registers of beneficial ownership.

Answered on

1 June 2022

The UK and the Overseas Territories stand united in condemning the Russian Government's egregious violation of international law and the UN Charter. The Overseas Territories released a joint statement in solidarity with the UK, which reaffirmed their commitment to continuing to uphold the highest international standards of transparency and accountability.

All Overseas Territories have committed to introduce publicly accessible registers of company beneficial ownership. These commitments exceed the standards set by the Financial Action Task Force on beneficial ownership transparency, and put them ahead of most jurisdictions. The UK Government expects the registers to be in place by the end of 2023.

The six Overseas Territories with global financial centres already share beneficial ownership information with UK law enforcement agencies under the exchange of notes arrangements.