UK Government Announces Property Law Changes & Anti-Corruption Summit
12 May, 2016
The UK’s Prime Minister, David Cameron has announced intentions to combat global corruption by creating a global register of foreign firms that own property in the UK.
According to the BBC, Downing Street says the planned register would include companies currently in the UK, potential buyers, and those looking to win government contracts. Firms on the register would be required to publicly disclose their assets, and therefore “corrupt individuals and countries will no longer be able to move, launder and hide illicit funds through London’s property market, and will not benefit from our public funds,” stated Downing Street.
Around 100,000 properties in England and Wales are owned by foreign companies, and 44,000 of those are properties in London.
David Cameron has also announced that the register scheme will be shared with British overseas territories and with 33 other nations worldwide.
“It does not matter where in the world your company is registered if you own property in London or sell things to government, as part of government procurement, then you have to declare the beneficial ownership, in other words the ultimate ownership of the company,” said Matthew Hancock, the UK’s Cabinet Office Minister, according to the BBC.
A summit is also to be announced soon. David Cameron will be hosting government delegates, businesses and civilians at the Lancaster House Summit, including US Secretary of State John Kerry, Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari and Afghan President Ashraf Ghani.