MALTA: Beneficial ownership register now open to all, regardless of ‘legitimate interest’

Malta has incorporated certain provisions of the EU Fifth Anti-Money Laundering Directive into its beneficial ownership registration regulations. From 1 January 2020, any person can inspect the name, month and year of birth, nationality, country of residence and the extent and nature of the beneficial interest of the beneficial owners of a company, without having to show a legitimate interest, unless disclosure would expose the beneficial owner to disproportionate risk of crime, or in the case that the beneficial owner lacks mental capacity. Further, beneficial owners are now equally liable with companies to provide the required information to the register.