SUBMISSION- Revisions to the Financial Action Task Force Recommendation 24 on Transparency and Beneficial Ownership

26 August 2021

SUBMISSION- Revisions to the FATF Recommendation 24 on Transparency and Beneficial Ownership

The Financial Action Task Force (FATF) is considering potential amendments to Recommendation 24 on the transparency and beneficial ownership of legal persons. The FATF’s objective is to strengthen the international standard on beneficial ownership of legal persons to ensure greater transparency about the ultimate ownership and control of legal persons. Further, the objective is to provide competent authorities timely access to adequate, accurate and up-to-date beneficial ownership information, and to take more effective action to mitigate the risks of misuse.

Transparency International Australia prefaces this submission with the following key points:

• An effective anti-money laundering regime requires a robust and up-to-date understanding of how criminals might misuse domestic and/or foreign legal persons to commit crimes and launder money.

• Regulators have an important role to play to ensure that beneficial ownership registers have adequate, accurate and up-to-date information. Countries should ensure that legal and institutional frameworks enables the collection of adequate, accurate and up-to-date information in beneficial ownership registers.

• There is no evidence suggesting that there is an additional compliance burden on low-risk companies if they are required to identify and report on their beneficial owners.

• The primary responsibility to verify beneficial ownership information should lie with the registry authority (or public body responsible for collecting beneficial ownership information). The registry authority should be mandated by law to independently verify the information provided by legal entities.

• Adequate powers and resources should be given to the authority to allow them to check the information provided by legal entities, request documents, carry out inspections and sanction non-compliance.