The Prime Minister has announced that the details of who really owns and controls UK companies will be made publicly accessible. More details will be announced in early 2014,, but the key paragraph in the announcement from the BIS Department includes the statement that the Government will “………potentially use as a model the disclosure regime that currently applies in relation to disclosure of information on company shareholders. This would mean that companies would hold information on the names and addresses of their beneficial owners and details of their interest in the company. Companies House would hold – and make publicly accessible – the names of the beneficial owners and details of their interest in the company”. This will enormously help shareholder activism and democracy.
ShareSoc did of course make clear its strong support for public disclosure of beneficial ownership in our response to the “Trust and Transparency” consultation paper – see Consultations for a link to our response. It is good to know that the Government has listened.
We will await more details with interest.