March 30, 2020

The 5th Money Laundering Directive and the Register of the Ultimate Beneficial Owners

On the 13th March 2020 Gibraltar transposed the EU 5th Money Laundering Direction (5MLD) through the Proceeds of Crime Act 2015(Amendment) Regulations 2020. The transposition of 5MLD introduced a number of amendments to the Register of Ultimate Beneficial Owners Regulations 2017. These amendments give rise to a number of changes and considerations, three of these are worthy of particular mention:

1. Requirement to supply Registrar with information

The Regulations now not only require for UBOs to inform a corporate or legal entity of their status as UBO, but to also provide that entity with any information which it may reasonably require to ensure the information held is adequate, accurate and current with regard to beneficial ownership. Furthermore, where a person becomes an UBO he must ensure he complies with these requirements within 15 days of becoming an UBO.

2. Access to the Register of UBOs

Previously the UBO register was accessible by a competent authority, a financial intelligence unit, obliged entities and a person or organisation that demonstrates a legitimate interest. A “person organisation that demonstrates a legitimate interest” has now been amended to “a member of the public.” 

Access to the register is via an  electronic  portal which  requires  pre-registration and the payment of a fee of £2.50 per search. The portal can be accessed here. It is worth noting that members of the public are limited to the following information, the name, the month and year of birth, the nationality, the country of residence and the nature and extent of beneficial interest of the UBO. 

3.  Duty to report inconsistencies

Obliged entities (relevant financial businesses) are now required to obtain a copy of the extract from the Register of Beneficial Owners, whenever Customer Due Diligence is to be applied to an entity which is itself required to register the UBO. In addition, obliged entities must now report to the Registrar within 30 days when it is apparent that the information contained within the register is inconsistent with the information in its possession. Therefore it is extremely prudent for entities and UBOs to ensure the information contained on the Register of Ultimate Beneficial Owner is adequate, accurate and current as outlined at point 1 above.

Should you wish to discuss these Regulations in any more detail please contact us through your normal point of contact if you are Fiduciary client and if not via, where our expert teams would be delighted to help.