A comprehensive register of foreign companies and or individuals that own properties in the UK is being planned, the British Prime Minister, David Cameron has disclosed.
This would include those who already own property in the UK as well as those seeking to buy.
Foreign firms that own property in the UK would have to declare their assets publicly in a bid to stamp out money-laundering.
These, among others issues were discussed at the global anti corruption summit in London.
The register would mean corrupt individuals and countries will no longer be able to move, launder and hide illicit funds through London’s property market, and will not benefit from British public funds,” the government said.
Cabinet Office Minister, Matthew Hancock, told the BBC: “It does not matter where in the world your company is registered if you own property in London or sell things to government, as part of government procurement, then you have to declare the beneficial ownership, in other words the ultimate ownership of the company.”
According to National media reports, some of Britain’s overseas territories and crown dependencies will join 33 other countries in agreeing to share automatically, their own registers of company ownership information that will be accessible to the police.
Also, a new anti-corruption co-ordination centre would be established in London and a wider corporate offence for executives who fail to prevent fraud or money laundering inside their companies.
The summit which began on a very dramatic note, after Cameron referred to Nigeria and Afghanistan as “fantastically countries”, brought together leaders of about 33 countries, including Civil Society Organisations.
In the brief diplomatic row that followed the report, both Presidents Muhammadu Buhari of Nigeria and Ashraf Ghani of Afghanistan said their governments were taking strict measures to tackle corruption and sought the British government’s support to achieve success on a large scale.
It is expected that a renewed global commitment to tackle corruption would be reached and adopted at the summit.