The Persons with Significant Control register (PSC Register) came into force in 2016 to enhance the transparency of beneficial ownership of UK companies. In October 2019, the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS) published its Report following the post-implementation review of the PSC register.
The overarching objective of the PSC regulations was to increase transparency of company beneficial ownership in the UK through implementing an accessible register of company beneficial ownership information. It was intended this would:
- deter illicit activity;
- promote good corporate behaviour;
- increase confidence in the UK business environment;
- facilitate economic growth; and
- aid investigations into, and reduce the costs of, economic crime.
The Report reveals that four out of five of the objectives have been, or are in the process of being met.
As the PSC register remains relatively new, it is too early to evaluate the effect on the wider economy and whether it contributes to the fight against criminal use of companies. A later review within the next five years will cover the impact of these regulations on illicit behaviour. The improvement of the accuracy and data quality of the registry data is also a priority. BEIS confirms that changes are expected to be made by amendments to either the Companies Act 2006 or the money laundering regulations, and that the PSC regulations will remain in their current form.