Nowhere to hide: Realising the potential of beneficial ownership reform

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Impact, Implementation


Beneficial ownership is widely recognised as an essential piece of information for tackling corruption, preventing and investigating tax evasion, protecting national security, and creating sustainable trading environments. The next five years are critical to delivering impact on these agendas. The goal - shared by many governments, businesses, and citizens - is that people can access accurate and high-quality information on the true owners of companies, and effectively use this to reduce known risks, such as corruption and tax evasion, and create a more sustainable business environment.

Key recommendations

  • All actors should support ambitious, meaningful and continuing reform of the global standards on BOT, in particular by ensuring that central beneficial ownership registers are made a requirement.
  • The Financial Action Task Force should adopt the revisions to Recommendation 24 which are currently in draft and move towards mandating central beneficial ownership registers.
  • Governments should deliver on existing commitments to beneficial ownership reform by implementing these effectively, in line with emerging best practices detailed in the Open Ownership Principles and the Beneficial Ownership Leadership Group terms of reference.
  • Companies should outline the specific ways in which BOT enhances and facilitates the execution of their own anti-corruption and integrity policies.
  • Regulated sectors should clearly and vocally champion BOT reforms, as part of their wider obligations to avoid enabling corrupt practices, and further strengthen the requirements of their industry standards over the coming years.
  • Multilateral organisations like the UN should require BOT within their own financing and lending instruments, and offer sustained financial, technical, and political support to member and recipient countries.
  • Civil Society Actors should advocate for effective beneficial ownership reforms, and document evidence of what works, to drive the increased use of beneficial ownership data to deliver impact.
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