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Tuesday 16 July 2013

You Couldn’t Make It Up

The Dept. of Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) issued a Discussion Paper yesterday: “Transparency & Trust: Enhancing the Transparency of UK Company Ownership and Increasing Trust in Business.”

A worthy topic for discussion you might think. Nothing wrong with a bit of transparency and trust. The former will help the latter apparently, according to Vince Cable, writing in the foreword to the Discussion Paper.

So what does the Secretary of State want to do to achieve this noble goal? He wants to create a new toy; a central registry of beneficial ownership of companies and LLPs. He’s prepared to exclude from his new play thing, the relative handful of companies listed on the Main Market of the London Stock Exchange, as they already have enough disclosure obligations to deal with. Other than those companies, every company and every LLP registered in the UK – about 2,500,000 entities in total, according to the Discussion Paper would be subject to a new disclosure regime.

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