We support the principle of effective measures to prevent money laundering and believe that this needs to be achieved in conjunction with preserving basic rights of privacy, particularly to protect vulnerable citizens.
STEP lobbied MEPs, UK and other EU Member States officials and raised the issue in the mainstream press of the serious privacy implications of a public register of beneficial owners of trusts. Also that the introduction of a public register would impose significant administrative burdens and costs on UK families; threaten their basic rights to confidentiality in financial affairs;achieve little in practical terms of tackling the problem of illicit financial flows.
The Fourth Anti Money Laundering Directive agreed in early 2015 stated that the mandatory register of trusts would be available to competent authorities only and would not be made public.
- STEP News: Fourth Anti-Money Laundering Directive (January 2015)
- STEP Blog: A pragmatic solution (December 2014)
- Sunday Telepgraph: "EU to force Britons to publish details of wills and property" (February 2014)
- The Times: "Families must reveal trust fund secrets under EU plan" (February 2014)