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Beneficial Ownership in Focus, FinCEN vs EU Money Laundering Directive

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Beneficial Ownership in Focus, FinCEN vs EU Money Laundering Directive

September 2016

Beneficial ownership recently came to the fore once again with two high-profile leaks – mostly recently the Bahamas leaks which saw the exposé of the names of directors and shareholders of nearly 176,000 shell companies trusts and foundations, which was preceded five months previously by the Panama Papers leaks which saw 11.5 million documents being leaked, detailing financial and attorney-client information for more than 214,488 offshore entities.

This, along with heightened anxiety of a number of recent high-profile terrorist activities, has resulted in a significant shift towards increasing corporate transparency and weeding out shell companies in an attempt to bolster the defenses against money laundering and terrorism financing.

In light of this, there have been considerable developments on both sides of the Atlantic to strengthen and enhance anti-money laundering (AML) regulations.

In this paper, we deep-dive into the beneficial ownership requirements determined by FinCEN under its Final Rule and those by the European Commission under the 4thEU Money Laundering Directive and provide a comparison between these two heavy-weight regulatory frameworks.

 

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