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New UK register of overseas owners of UK properties' is riddled with flaws'

14/09/2022

There are loopholes in the UK government's attempts to stop 'criminals. Oligarchs [other bad people] attempting to hide ill-gotten gains. Individuals can legally sidestep the rules by holding property or land in the name of a nominee company or simply sharing the ownership with more than four relatives or friends.

Example [1]

  1. "a company is owned by a Cayman or Panamanian law firm, for example, which holds legal ownership of many properties on behalf of wealthy clients.
  2. The names on the register would likely be the partners in the law firm, or perhaps no one. And the name of the wealthy clients [possible bad people] would be nowhere to be found."

A further example [2]

  1. And Even if wealthy clients [possible bad people] did own shares in an offshore company that owns a UK property, "if they hold 25% or less of that company's shares, nothing needs to be disclosed."
  2. "A family of six could each own a 16.67% share of the company, thus bringing them outside the registration requirements."

A further example [3]

  1. A Gibraltar Wealth Manager creates a Trustee Company to look after Pension assets.
  2. The Trustee Company is also registered in Gibraltar but incorporates another company in Nevis which buys property in the UK.
  3. The result is that the Nevis Company owns the property (declared) the beneficial owner is the Gibraltar Trustee Company (declared). However, we still have no clue as to who the real human being is at the end of the ownership chain.

Sources

https://www.theguardian.com/business/2022/aug/01/new-register-of-overseas-owners-of-uk-properties-riddled-with-flaws

https://www.linkedin.com/posts/greybrow53_heres-a-quick-update-on-the-register-of-activity-6975736891924959234-AUnc?utm_source=share&utm_medium=member_desktop

UNITED KINGDOM