Learning the lessons from the UK’s public beneficial ownership register

  • Publication date: 02 November 2017
  • Author: Global Witness

Annex: The UK register’s beneficial ownership disclosure requirements

The beneficial ownership register, known as the register of people with significant control (PSC), was introduced through amending the Companies Act in 2015. Under the Act, companies are required to:

  • Identify the people with significant control (PSCs) over the company and confirm their information
  • Record the details of the PSC on the company’s own PSC register
  • Provide this information to Companies House as part of the annual Confirmation Statement (an annual statement provided by all companies to Companies House)
  • Update the information on the company’s own PSC register when it changes, and update the information at Companies House when the next Confirmation Statement is made

Under the guidance for the register, a PSC defined as an individual who:

  1. Holds more than 25% of shares in the company;
  2. Holds more than 25% of voting rights in the company – for example as defined in articles of association.
  3. Holds the right to appoint or remove the majority of the board of directors of the company.
  4. Has the right to exercise, or actually exercises, significant influence or control over the company.
  5. Holds the right to exercise, or actually exercises, significant influence or control over a trust or firm that would satisfy one of the first four conditions if it were an individual.

The following information is publicly disclosed for PSCs in the register:

  • Name
  • Correspondence address (not home / residential address)
  • Month and year of birth
  • Date of latest notification to Companies House
  • Nationality & country of residence
  • Nature of control - using the categories 1-5 above, and for categories 1 & 2 the extent of their holdings of shares or voting rights, either 25-50%, 50-75% or over 75%