Today at the G-8 summit, the White House announced its “National Action Plan on Preventing the Misuse of Companies and Legal Arrangements.” The plan was released “along with agreement today on a set of G-8 principles to enhance transparency of company ownership and control.” The plan is designed to “combat the criminal misuse of businesses, shell companies, and front companies” and to “assist law enforcement and tax authorities in understanding who actually owns and controls legal entities (i.e., their beneficial owners) and assist cross-border investigations.”

According to the fact sheet, the U.S. will “draft a national risk assessment” to “identify major money laundering threats and vulnerabilities” and include an “analysis of vulnerabilities posed by corporate entities and how criminal use them to launder funds.” The U.S. will also “advocate for comprehensive legislation on beneficial ownership” and “clarify and strengthen customer due diligence standards for U.S. financial institutions” that would “require that financial institutions understand who their customers actually are and provide important information and resources for law enforcement and tax authorities.”

The fact sheet said that the U.S. will “continue to advocate for increased mutual legal assistance and other forms of international cooperation designed to enhance the transparency of the international financial system including working with our partners to enhance build a framework for identifying beneficial ownership of companies.”

The fact sheet can be accessed here.

The action plan can be accessed here.