Companies’ Beneficial Owners

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By Pekka Valo, Aliant Finland. The European Union 5th Anti-Money Laundering Directive requires that EU member states should set up beneficial ownership registers for corporate and other legal entities and for trusts and similar legal arrangements. I will now describe the implementation and requirements in Finland.

Under the provisions of the Finnish Anti-Money Laundering Act companies are required to file beneficial owner details with the Finnish Trade Register and thereafter keep the details in the Trade Register up to date.

The act does not define any specific sanctions for failing to file or keep the information up to date. However, as for example banks, accounting firms and law firms are obliged to identify their customers and check the beneficial owner details and they may report any deficiencies or inconsistencies in the company’s beneficial owner details. Companies should therefore comply with the requirements to avoid delays, account closures and other potential problems.