Filings of information under new regulations on the Beneficial Ownership of corporates commences in June 2019.
Since November 2016, the Fourth Anti-Money Laundering Directive (4AMLD) required corporate and legal entities to hold accurate, up to date information on the beneficial owner or owners in a beneficial ownership register.
Under the regulations, corporate and legal entities must create a Beneficial Owners Register i.e. a list of persons who ultimately own or control, through direct or indirect ownership, a shareholding in excess of 25%.
Every entity is under a statutory obligation to immediately take ‘all reasonable steps’ to obtain and hold adequate, accurate and current information in respect of its beneficial owners. Where Beneficial Owners cannot, after all reasonable efforts, be identified, the names of the company’s ‘senior managing officials’ (e.g. company directors) must be entered in the register of beneficial owners.
Under the 2019 Regulations, every relevant entity shall take reasonable steps to obtain:
- The name, date of birth, address, nationality and residential address of each beneficial owner
- A statement of the nature of the extent and interest held, or the nature and extent of control exercised, by each beneficial owner
- The PPS Number, where appropriate, of each beneficial owner (to enable the beneficial owner’s identity to be cross checked and validated — the Registrar shall not disclose this information)
This information must be filed on the Central Register. The RBO will begin to accept online filings from June 22, after which there will be five months for companies and Industrial & Provident Societies to file their RBO data to meet their statutory duty. It is likely that the CRO will be given stewardship of this register.
The initial filing deadline is 22 November 2019. A company or beneficial owner that fails to comply with the Regulations shall be liable on summary conviction to a Class A fine, or conviction on indictment to a fine up to €500,000. There is also provision for custodial sentencing of up to 12 months for non-compliance or false information.