Anonymous companies underpin corrupt and criminal financial transactions. They were used in 70 per cent of grand corruption cases reviewed by the World Bank and are one of the oldest tricks in the book for moving, laundering and spending dirty money.
Governments are ending anonymous company ownership by creating open, public registers of the true “beneficial” owners of companies – the individuals who ultimately control or profit from a company. Open registers of beneficial owners make it harder for corrupt individuals to hide their connection to illicit flows of capital out of a national budget. They can also help authorities recover stolen assets, prosecute criminals and deter others. Beneficial ownership transparency contributes to sustainable development, a fairer business environment and increased public trust.
This briefing discusses:
- why beneficial ownership is a priority for Open Government Partnership (OGP) members
- good practice for creating open registers
- existing and model commitments in national action plans