CJEU decision on beneficial ownership registries will exacerbate financial crime

February 14, 2023
financial report

In this article published in IFLR, Emily Butler explains why privacy protection will lead to opacity around corporate entities. See below for a short excerpt from the article:

In November 2022, the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU), the judicial branch of the EU, ruled that the provisions of Anti-Money Laundering Directive 2015/849, which allowed public access to corporate beneficial ownership registries (UBO registries), was invalid. In short order, a number of EU countries, including Belgium, the Netherlands, and Luxembourg, revoked public access to their UBO registries.

Privacy advocates have praised this decision, agreeing with the CJEU’s ruling that public access to UBO registries “constitutes a serious interference with the fundamental rights to respect for private life and to the protection of personal data”. While the CJEU’s ruling is intended to protect certain civil liberties, transparency experts and those engaged in anti-money laundering efforts have argued that the decision erodes efforts to identify and expose channels of global financial crime and uphold corporate governance.

Read the full article here.