For financial sector professionals, the access is linked to on the fight against money laundering and the financing of terrorism. For journalists, the statement stipulates that they are “representatives of the press who have a legitimate interest in being able to consult the register of beneficial owners as part of their journalistic research”. Access to the database is to be managed by the Luxembourg Press Council.
The EU Court of Justice, on 22 November, and ruled that open access was invalid, leading Luxembourg to suspend access to the database within a few hours of the publication of the judgement. This action has been met with criticism from players demanding transparency.
The end of unidentified free access
Other actors with a “legitimate interest in and a link to the fight against money laundering and terrorist financing” should also, at a later stage, be able to access the RBO again.
The RBO lists the identity, address and holdings of persons holding more than 25% of the capital or 50% of the voting rights in any company registered in Luxembourg. Until 22 November, access to this database was possible by means of an anonymous identification. Initially, the justice ministry and the Centre for State Information Technology (CTIE) reopened access for certain professionals with identified access to the Luxembourg Trade and Companies Register (RCS) and the RBO.
With access reinstated for financial professionals and journalists, the doors of the RBO are gradually reopening but in a supervised manner. “Discussions are also being held at the European level to bring the text of the directive on the prevention of the use of the financial system for the purpose of money laundering or terrorist financing into line with the case law of the CJEU,” the justice ministry said in a statement on 6 December.
This story was first published in French on Paperjam. It has been translated and edited for Delano.