On the 10 January 2020, implementation of the Fifth Money Laundering Directive in the UK brought in a requirement on certain professionals to report material discrepancies between the Companies House PSC filings and the beneficial ownership of a company or limited liability partnership found when conducting client due diligence.

Examples of professionals which will now carry this obligation include (but are not limited to): –

  • Credit institutions;
  • Financial institutions;
  • Auditors, insolvency practitioners, external accountants and tax advisors;
  • Notaries and other independent legal professionals;
  • Trust or company service providers; and
  • Estate agents, including when acting as intermediaries.

It should be noted that this reporting requirement is for ‘material’ discrepancies. This is understood to mean factual errors and not simply typos. Examples might include an incorrect person listed, incorrect addresses, or an incorrect place of registration.

If a material discrepancy is found, a report should be made to Companies House as soon as reasonably possible using an online form. Companies House will then investigate and, if the report is well-founded, will contact the company for its comments and require that it correct its PSC register. The company will not be made aware of the discrepancy report and, similarly, the professional will not be informed of the outcome.

Further reading: Corporate Spotlight – People With Significant Control (PSC) and Beneficial Ownership of Shares

As referred to above, the change impacts a number of institutions, including external accountants and law firms who often maintain PSC registers on behalf of their clients.

BHW regularly maintains and updates PSC information and registers. For further information on the PSC regime please contact BHW’s Corporate team on 0116 289 7000 or email info@bhwsolicitors.com.

The full Government guidance can be found here.

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