Trusts and AML-CFT Registers of Beneficial Owners: I’m a trustee, do I need to register somewhere?


Many trustees based in the EU, and other jurisdictions that have implemented regulations similar to the EU’s central register of beneficial ownership (RBO) initiative, are familiar with the need to register trusts with the competent authority and disclose information on all persons who fall within the definition of ‘beneficiary’ with respect to trusts in the appropriate RBO form. 

However, non-EU-based trustees may be less familiar with the requirement, introduced in the EU 5AMLD, to also have the trust registered when the trustee enters into a business relationship in the EU. Indeed, where the place of establishment or residence of the trustee is outside the EU, the information must be registered in the EU Member State where a trustee either enters into a business relationship or acquires real estate in the name of the trust.

This session will examine what constitutes a business relationship and consider whether merely engaging a professional (such as a lawyer, accountant, or tax advisor) in a Member State would qualify as a business relationship. The panel will consider circumstances relating to the persons involved in a trust, such as whether appointing a beneficiary or having a settlor based in a Member State would qualify as ‘entering into a business relationship’ in the EU. The panel will also consider transactions typically carried out by a trustee during the lifetime of a trust, such as the opening of a bank account in an EU jurisdiction, as well as the meaning of the term ‘acquires real estate’, which could be open to interpretation – depending on the EU jurisdiction where real estate is being acquired.


  • Dr Anthony Cremona TEP, Ganado Advocates, Malta


  • Stéphanie Auferil TEP, ARKWOOD SCP, France
  • Dr Petra Camilleri, Malta Financial Services Authority, Malta
  • Aileen Keogan TEP, Aileen Keogan Solicitor & Tax, Ireland
  • Filippo Noseda TEP, Mischcon de Reya, UK
  • Paolo Panico TEP, Private Trustees SA, Luxembourg
  • Nicola Saccardo TEP, Maisto e Associati, UK

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