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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

The KPMG logo and name are trademarks of KPMG International. KPMG International is a Swiss cooperative that serves as a coordinating entity for a network of independent member firms. KPMG International provides no audit or other client services. Such services are provided solely by member firms in their respective geographic areas. KPMG International and its member firms are legally distinct and separate entities. They are not and nothing contained herein shall be construed to place these entities in the relationship of parents, subsidiaries, agents, partners, or joint venturers. No member firm has any authority (actual, apparent, implied or otherwise) to obligate or bind KPMG International or any member firm in any manner whatsoever. The information contained in herein is of a general nature and is not intended to address the circumstances of any particular individual or entity. Although we endeavor to provide accurate and timely information, there can be no guarantee that such information is accurate as of the date it is received or that it will continue to be accurate in the future. No one should act on such information without appropriate professional advice after a thorough examination of the particular situation. For more information, contact KPMG's Federal Tax Legislative and Regulatory Services Group at: + 1 202 533 4366, 1801 K Street NW, Washington, DC 20006.

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