UK to create a registry of foreign property owners in the country

On July 23, 2018, the U.K. Parliament introduced a new bill on creating a public registry where foreign companies owning property in the country will have to disclose the names of their ultimate owners. Those concealing the information, or putting untrustworthy data on the registry, run the risk of fine and up to five years’ imprisonment for nominal ownership with the intent to launder money. If the law is adopted, the registry will be operational by 2021. The U.K. will become the first country to create such an instrument.

Who will be listed on the new registry?

The registry will include data on legal entities owning assets in the U.K. but are registered abroad. This refers to a significant share of the market. In 2016, The Guardian media outlet uncovered information from the Panama Papers stating that offshore companies owned British real estate totaling £170 billion. For example,

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