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This briefing note is only intended as a general statement of the law and no action should be taken in reliance on it without specific legal advice.

PSC Registers
 Briefing 
Author
Nicholas McVeigh
Date
27 June 2017

PSC Registers

Are you aware of the updated requirements?

Since 6 April 2016 most UK companies and LLPs have had to maintain a PSC register: see our February 2016 article, "What you need to know about PSC registers". The PSC register regime is now changing to align it with the requirements of the Fourth Money Laundering Directive (4MLD). 4MLD requires all member states in the EEA to implement a central register of beneficial ownership by 26 June 2017. Designed to increase transparency of corporate ownership structures, with the aim of combatting money laundering and tax evasion, it reduces the disclosure discrepancy between the UK and the remainder of the EEA. 

More regular reporting to Companies House

Until now, a company has been required to update its own PSC register once the particulars to be entered in the register have been confirmed by the relevant PSC. The company's PSC information has only been required to be confirmed to Companies House annually as part of the company's confirmation statement (which in June 2016 replaced the annual return). As of 26 June 2017, the company is required to update its own PSC register within 14 days of a change being confirmed by a PSC. Importantly, it must now also file the updated information at Companies House within a further 14 days, rather than waiting until it files its next confirmation statement.

AIM companies no longer exempt

Companies admitted to trading on AIM (and on the NEX Exchange) have until now been exempt from the obligation to maintain a PSC register on the basis that those companies disclose equivalent information pursuant to DTR 5. 4MLD, however, only exempts companies listed on "regulated markets" and so the exemption from the PSC register regime has been narrowed. As of 26 June 2017, AIM companies and NEX Exchange companies are subject to duties to identify their PSCs and will from 24 July 2017 need to maintain a PSC register and update Companies House in the way described above.

More entities fall within the regime

The PSC register regime is being expanded, so that from 24 July 2017 entities including Scottish general partnerships, where all the partners are corporates, and Scottish limited partnerships will need to start filing PSC information with Companies House; these entities are not however required to maintain their own PSC registers.

PSC changes before 26 June 2017

Changes to a company's PSC register which occurred before 26 June 2017 but since the filing of the company's last confirmation statement are also notifiable. The company will have a period of 14 days from 26 June 2017 to file details of those changes with Companies House.

Other transparency initiatives

The above changes to the PSC regime are part of an ongoing series of corporate transparency initiatives. The Government is introducing a register of beneficial ownership of trusts, the implementation of which is provided for in the Money Laundering Regulations 2017 and further details of which are set out in the HMRC Trusts and Estates Newsletter (April 2017). The Government has also published a call for evidence on a proposed register of overseas companies owning UK property: see our May 2017 article, "Transparency update: overseas companies owning UK property".