The Registrar of Beneficial Ownership of Companies and Industrial & Provident Societies (the “RBO”) opened on Monday 29 July 2019. Filing of beneficial ownership data can only be done online through a portal on the RBO’s website from that date.

Companies and societies will have until Friday 22 November 2019 to file their data with the RBO. If a company or society does not file their data before this date they will be in breach of the Regulations. The RBO will write to each company and Industrial & Provident Society about their filing obligations within the following weeks.

By way of recap, the European Union (Anti-Money Laundering: Beneficial Ownership of Corporate Entities) Regulations 2019 (the “2019 Regulations”) were signed into law in March 2019 and revoked the 2016 Regulations which we have discussed in a previous article.

Although broadly similar to the 2016 Regulations, the 2019 Regulations require corporate entities to file information on their beneficial owners with the new Central Register. By way of reminder, we have set out below the categories of beneficial owner and the type of information that must be filed.

Who is a beneficial owner?

A beneficial owner is as follows:

  • a natural person or persons who ultimately owns or controls a legal entity through direct or indirect ownership of a sufficient percentage of:
    1. the shares; or
    2. voting rights; or
    3. ownership interest in that entity, including through bearer shareholdings, or
    4. through control via other means,
  • or if, after having exhausted all possible means and provided there are no grounds for suspicion, no person under the point above is identified, or if there is any doubt that the person or persons identified are the beneficial owner(s), the natural person(s) who hold the position of senior managing official(s).

What information must be filed with the Central Register?

The following non exhaustive list of information is required for each Beneficial Owner:

  • Company / Society Name:
  • Company / Society Number:
  • Surname:
  • Forename(s):
  • Date of Birth:
  • PPS Number
  • Nationality
  • Country of Residence:
  • Statement of the nature & extent of interest held:
  • Statement of the nature & extent of control exercised:
  • Residential Address:
  • Date of entry as beneficial owner:
  • Date of cessation as beneficial owner:
  • If either,
    • after having exhausted all possible means and provided there are no grounds for suspicion, no natural person is identified, or
    • if there is any doubt that any natural person so identified is a beneficial owner of the relevant entity, there shall be entered in the company/society’s internal register as its beneficial owners, the names and details of the one or more natural person(s) who hold the position(s) of senior managing official(s)(SMO) of the company/ society.