How the British Government’s Attempts to Fight Corruption and Money Laundering are Already Failing
On 19 August 2017, Bellingcat published an article regarding the new Persons of Significant Control (“PSC”) requirements introduced by the government, intended to deter the owners of Scottish Limited Partnerships (“SLPs”) from using the vehicle’s unique opaque structure as a means to conduct criminal activity. Subsequently, as reported by the Guardian and the OCCRP, SLPs were used to launder the proceeds of another multi-billion money laundering scandal, this time the Azerbaijani Laundromat, hot on the heels of numerous stories revolving around SLPs and their widespread use by money launderers and fraudsters all around the world.
Now that the deadline has long-passed for SLPs to reveal who their PSCs are, Bellingcat have taken a second look at the PSC filings, to ascertain whether the government’s initiative has proven to be effective and what kind of information is being submitted to Companies House.
For the purposes of this article, all of the SLPs incorporated from 1 January 2016 to 31 October 2017 were examined and their PSC filings as of 8 November 2017 were recorded. During this time period, 7,827 SLPs were incorporated. Of these, 7,213 are still active. 2,402 (33%) have still not filed their PSC statement. 2,158 (30%) have named an individual or corporate vehicle as their PSC. The remainder have filed a variety of statements explaining why they cannot currently name their PSC, or statements claiming that there is no registrable person.
In the PSC statements so far filed, individuals from 62 countries are named. Notably, individuals in all of the post-Soviet states have been named and every continent in the world (excluding Antarctica) is represented. As stated in our previous report, British citizens are not named on the majority of PSC filings, falling behind Ukrainian, Russian, Belarusian and Uzbek nationals.
In fact, just 75 PSC …read more