August 25,2021

GCFFC Publishes a Position Paper on Beneficial Ownership Transparency

As part of its efforts to identify emerging threats and best practice approaches to more robust controls against financial crime, the Global Coalition to Fight Financial Crime (GCFFC) has published a Position Paper on Beneficial Ownership Transparency. The paper represents the collective efforts of its members, including the MENA FCCG.  It is considered extremely timely as the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) is considering potential amendments to Recommendation 24 on the transparency and beneficial ownership of legal persons.

According to the document, published August 25, 2021, all actors fighting financial crime should have instant access to high quality, highly usable beneficial ownership (BO) data.  In essence, under the Paper, the GCFFC sets key features BO disclosure regimes implemented by jurisdictions should strive to have. These are:

  1. BO should be clearly and robustly defined in law, with sufficiently low thresholds used to determine when ownership and control is disclosed
  2. BO disclosures should comprehensively cover all relevant types of legal entities and natural persons
  3. BO disclosures should contain sufficient detail to allow users to understand and use the data
  4. Data should be collated in a central register
  5. Data should be accessible to all actors fighting financial crime
  6. Data should be structured and interoperable
  7. Measures should be taken to ensure data is verified
  8. Data should be kept up to date and historical records maintained
  9. Adequate sanctions and enforcement should exist for non-compliance

The GCFFFC believes these features are critical for countering the use of anonymously owned legal entities – through shell companies, trusts, or other legal constructions – in hiding the proceeds of crime.   MENA FCCG continues to work closely with the GCFFC to make a difference.