The use of beneficial ownership data by private entities

  • Publication date: 31 March 2022
  • Author: Sadaf Lakhani


The body of regulations that govern the disclosure and use of information about who owns and controls companies has been growing in recent years as part of AML/CFT policies. With these policies governments aim to tackle illicit activities by targeting their financing and proceeds. Protecting human rights, assisting with anti-corruption efforts, and providing a better understanding of emerging markets are additional reasons regulators and civil society have advocated for BOT.

Private sector companies and other legal entities have long been using BO data as part of their compliance with requirements by regulators. They typically have a different set of incentives and goals for using BO data than users from governments and non-governmental organisations. They also face distinct challenges with regard to the use of BO data in relevant business processes and decisions compared to other users of BO data.

This research aims to better understand the existing use of BO data by private entities. It will inform OO’s efforts to support governments in publishing and standardising useful and usable data about beneficial owners in central, public registers. Based on the information gathered, the research identifies key reasons for private entities to support the centralised collection, verification, and publication of BO data by governments, and highlights how this can be done in a way that maximises utility for private sector actors.

Next page: Research questions and methodology