Register of Beneficial Owners

May 17, 2018
By Gráinne Howard, Director of Corporate Governance & Compliance at Baker Tilly Hughes Blake.

The 4th EU Anti-Money Laundering Directive (4AMLD) requires all EU member states to put into national law provisions around beneficial ownership information for corporate and legal entities.

There are two stages to this process:
  1. As of 15 November 2016, ALL corporate and legal entities must hold adequate, accurate and current information on their beneficial owner(s) in their own Register of Beneficial Ownership; and
  2. Corporate and legal entities will in due course be required to file this information with a central beneficial ownership register. The central register is in the process of being established and further information on this is stated below.

Companies Registration Office Announcement

The Companies Registration Office (CRO) has recently advised that the Department of Finance are expected to make a Statutory Instrument in the coming months, assigning responsibility to the CRO for the establishment and maintenance of a Register of Beneficial Owners (RBO) for each company. The details of each beneficial owner will be filed via a new on-line portal.

Each beneficial owner must be a natural person and the information that must be filed with the CRO will include the following:

  • Forename and surname;
  • Date of birth;
  • Nationality;
  • Residential address;
  • A statement of the nature of the interest held by each beneficial owner;
  • A statement of the extent of the interest held by each beneficial owner;
  • The date on which each individual was entered in the company's own register as a beneficial owner of the corporate entity;
  • The date on which each former beneficial owner ceased to be such an owner; and
  • If no natural persons are identified as beneficial owners, there shall be entered in the register the names of the natural person(s) who hold the position(s) of senior managing official(s) of each company with a significant ownership interest.
While the information regarding filing at the CRO is subject to change until such time as the Statutory Instrument is passed, the creation and maintenance of an internal RBO by a company has been in force since 15 November 2016. It is a criminal offence not to comply with the regulations. A relevant entity which fails to comply will be liable on summary conviction to a fine.

Benefits of compliance

Where a company has an up-to-date RBO, the directors will be well positioned to make the relevant filings at the CRO in a timely manner when the requirement comes into force, as well as ensuring the company's compliance with these regulations.

Source: Baker Tilly Hughes Blake.