On 1 March 2022, the UK Register of Overseas Entities has been introduced to the UK parliament.
The measures, which will be included in the Economic Crime (Transparency and Enforcement) Bill, will force beneficial owners of property in England, Wales and Scotland to provide information on their identity.
The Bill applies retrospectively to property bought by overseas owners up to 20 years ago and, for those who won’t comply with the registration requirements, restrictions will be enacted to make it more difficult to dispose of such properties.
Providing false information will be sanctioned with imprisonment for up to five years.
Moreover, the definition of an “asset holder” will be expand and even those who hold property in the UK through a trust will be brought within scope.
The plan is also for the government to increase the powers of Companies House though future Bills, in order to make applicants provide information on their identity when setting up companies.