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Financial crime authorities and transparency groups to give evidence to Commons and Lords anti-money laundering inquiry

On Monday 18 March the Draft Registration of Overseas Entities Bill Joint Committee will hear evidence from Transparency International UK, Global Witness, Tax Justice Network, the National Crime Agency, the Financial Conduct Authority, and the Serious Fraud Office.

The Committee was appointed to consider and report on the Draft Registration of Overseas Entities Bill. The draft Bill would establish a public register, held by Companies House, of the beneficial owners of overseas entities that own or purchase land in the UK. It would require overseas entities to identify their beneficial owners, disclose that information to the register, and annually update the information. 

Giving evidence to the Committee at 4.30pm will be:

  • Duncan Hames, Director of Policy, Transparency International UK
  • Ava Lee, Senior Campaigner, Global Witness
  • Alex Cobham, Chief Executive, Tax Justice Network

Questions are likely to include:

  • Are the thresholds that define a beneficial owner in the draft Bill adequate? 
  • The draft Bill provides a power to exempt types of entities by regulation, by virtue of their ownership structure, or by the Secretary of State on a case-by-case basis. What is your take on these exemptions?
  • Do criminal sanctions in the draft Bill provide sufficient deterrent against non-compliance?

Giving evidence to the Committee at 5.15pm will be:

  • Donald Toon, Director, National Economic Crime Centre, National Crime Agency
  • Alison Barker, Director of Specialist Supervision, Financial Conduct Authority
  • Mark Thompson, Chief Operating Officer, Serious Fraud Office

Questions are likely to include:

  • What is your assessment of the scale of the problem of money laundering within the UK property market?
  • How does the draft Bill fit in with other areas of anti-money laundering activity?
  • What kind of structures are used to conduct illicit activity in the property market?
  • Will the information on beneficial owners required by the draft Bill be useful, and pertinent for investigating suspected cases of money laundering?

The session will start at 4.30pm in Committee Room 4 on Monday 18 March. 

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