Transparency International Australia supports the creation of a central register to record beneficial ownership information.
We submit that:
- The register should be publicly available (open access) to increase opportunities for the public to verify and provide information and that the beneficial ownership information should be free of charge.
- The central register could be maintained by either AUSTRAC or ASIC due to those agencies’ ability to collect information and to enforce against companies that fail to report information.
- If there is any difficulty with defining the “beneficial owner” of a company, that the definition of “beneficial owner” from Australia’s anti-money laundering framework should be preferred.