The Economic Crime (Transparency and Enforcement) Act received its Royal Assent on 15 March 2022 and was adopted to enhance the fight against economic crime in the United Kingdom. In particular, this Act introduced a “register of overseas entities, which will include information about their beneficial owners”, and “makes provision that, broadly speaking, is designed to compel overseas entities to register if they own land” (Part 1). Moreover, it strengthened both the Unexplained Wealth Orders (UWO) (Part 2) and sanctions (Part 3), by amending the existing UK regimes.
This Act is the newest tool developed to counter money laundering. However, there are still some problematic aspects that appear unsolved. As argued by Andres Knobel, Lead Researcher Beneficial Ownership for the Tax Justice Network, an advocacy group consisting of a coalition of researchers and activists with a shared concern about tax avoidance, tax competition, and tax havens, this Act presents significant shortcomings that should be addressed. For example, one of the main issues concerns the limited applicability of this Act to trusts.
The Corporate Crime Observatory is interested in understanding your thoughts on the Economic Crime (Transparency and Enforcement) Act and whether you think that there is room for improvement.