FATF seeks financial institution and other stakeholder views as it mulls changes to international standards on beneficial ownership

The Financial Action Task Force (FATF) is seeking the views of financial institutions and a range of other organisations and experts on its newly published white paper for public consultation on the transparency and beneficial ownership of legal persons.

The FATF’s objective is to strengthen the international standard on beneficial ownership of legal persons so as to ensure greater transparency about the ultimate ownership and control of entities.

Seeking views

The FATF says its work in this area will benefit from hearing views from stakeholders including companies and other legal persons, financial institutions, designated non-financial businesses and professions (DNFBPs), and non-profit organisations.

In this consultation, the FATF is particularly interested in learning the views of companies and other legal persons, as many of the changes currently under consideration may impact them. The FATF would also welcome comments and data from countries with registries, as well as those using alternative mechanisms.

Potential changes

Areas of particular interest to the FATF as it looks to a new set of international standards on beneficial ownership include the question of whether all countries should adopt a risk-based approach for foreign legal persons in addition to existing measures for domestic legal persons.

The FATF also wants input on how to clarify the key attributes of access to information by competent authorities centring on timely access to accurate and up to date information and possible measures to strengthen controls on bearer shares and nominees to prevent them from being used to conceal the beneficial owners of legal persons.

Multipronged approach

The task force also wants to focus on what it describes as a multipronged approach to beneficial ownership information.

This includes looking at issues such as the advantages and disadvantages of beneficial ownership registries and what are the alternative approaches to registries, such as beneficial ownership information held by companies, financial institutions, and DNFBPs as well as what role the private sector should play in providing beneficial ownership information.

More information and a link to FATF’s white paper for public consultation on the transparency and beneficial ownership of legal persons, Revisions to Recommendation 24 – White Paper for Public Consultation, can be found here.

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