European Parliament and European Council agreed on central registers

European Parliament and European Council agreed on central registers

On 16 Dec 2014 European Parliament and European Council agreed on the fourth anti-money laundering directive due to which EU member states will be obliged to maintain central registers listing information on the ultimate beneficial owners of corporate and other legal entities, as well as trusts.

It is planned that the registers will contain information on month and year of birth, nationality and residency of the beneficial owners of European companies.

The central registers will be accessible to the competent authorities and their financial intelligence units (without any restriction), as well as banks conducting their customer due diligence duties. Any person or organization, investigative journalists who can demonstrate a “legitimate interest” will also be able to access registers.

The directive will enter into force after it is endorsed by EU member states and by Parliament’s committees before being put to a vote by the full Parliament next year.

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