Mixed progress towards beneficial ownership disclosure in Asia-Pacific

Asia-Pacific countries are moving at different paces towards implementing legislation to ensure that at least those organisations that need-to-know can find out who the ultimate beneficial owner of a company is.

Disclosure of trading entities’ ultimate beneficial owners is considered an essential requirement for fighting a range of trade-based financial crimes.

Trading hubs lead

Hong Kong and Singapore are at the forefront. Both trading hubs have introduced legislation, Singapore in 2017 and Hong Kong in 2018.

Access to beneficial ownership information is however limited in both jurisdictions.

But the two jurisdictions are also active in combatting other aspects of trade fraud, with the Hong Kong Monetary Authority and the Monetary Authority of Singapore co-operating to develop blockchain-based trade finance platforms to combat fraud.

Lagging behind

Australia, New Zealand and Japan appear to be moving at slower pace in regulating to ensure the disclosure of beneficial ownership, but there are no signs of beneficial ownership registers appearing any time soon in those countries.

Malaysia meanwhile is so far the only Asia-Pacific country that opens up its beneficial ownership register to the public.



Categories: Trade Based Financial crimes News