Luxembourg is to create registers containing information about company and trust owners and beneficiaries
Luxembourg wants to create 2 registers listing company owners and beneficiaries in a bid to combat money laundering
Luxembourg is to create registers containing information about company and trust owners and beneficiaries in an effort to combat money laundering and the financing of terrorism.
Two draft bills, which were presented on Wednesday, will enshrine in law the fourth European anti-money laundering directive. Both texts clarify the type of information to be disclosed, which groups will have access to the registers and sanctions that companies or trusts will incur if they fail to share information requested about their owners.
The registers will concern entities which come under Luxembourg’s legal jurisdiction.
Access to data contained in these two registers will be strictly regulated, parliament said in a press release.
The two registers
The first register will be for companies and other legal entities in the Register of Commerce and Companies (RCSL): the register should be available for national authorities (such as the prosecution service) and national professionals (such as the Bar Association for example) and used in the fight against money laundering and the financing of terrorism.
In addition, it is expected that other individuals or national organisations could access the register upon request, provided they have a “legitimate interest”. A coordinating commission, established at the justice ministry, should then decide on a case by case basis.
This provision could give access to investigative journalists or a Luxembourg representative of a consortium of journalists, without opening the register to all journalists.
The second register will be for trusts within the Registration and Domains Administration. Access should be restricted to the relevant authorities, including the public prosecutor's office, examining magistrates, members of the judicial police or the intelligence service, as well as the administration of the direct taxes and the licensing office.
Luxembourg justice minister Félix Braz pointed out that a certain number of mechanisms were planned to ensure the quality of the information recorded, with the aim of ensuring the processes “credibility”.
During discussions, MPs highlighted the possible difficulties the registers would create for entities with a chain of economic beneficiaries such as certain investment funds.