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EU: Status of ultimate beneficial ownership registers

EU: Status of ultimate beneficial ownership registers

EU Member States must make the registers of beneficial owners of companies publicly accessible following implementation of the fifth EU Anti-Money Laundering Directive.

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More European countries have acted to implement these registers.

  • Liechtenstein’s legislation concerning a register of beneficial owners of domestic entities was effective 1 August 2019.
  • Jersey, Guernsey, and the Isle of Man have introduced ultimate beneficial ownership registers, expected to become publicly accessible in 2023.

Switzerland, however, has not shown efforts to introduce a central ultimate beneficial ownership register at this time.


KPMG observation

Implementation of ultimate beneficial ownership registers has extended beyond the EU. For instance, the British Virgin Islands and Cayman Islands have introduced ultimate beneficial ownership registers (expected to become publicly accessible in 2023) and Panama has also introduced an ultimate beneficial ownership register, but it will not be made available to the public.


Read a January 2020 report prepared by the KPMG member firm in Switzerland

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