Remaining compliant following the 4th Money Laundering Directive

Kelly Cosgrove

Since the fourth Money Laundering Directive (4MLD) came into force in June 2017, there has been some knock-on effects on the filing requirements for Limited Companies and LLPs.

You may remember that back in June 2016, the Annual Return was replaced by the Confirmation Statement and the Persons of Significant Control Register (PSC).  All companies were required to take reasonable steps to identify the company’s PSCs and create and maintain a register of these individuals or companies (Relevant Legal Entities).

The PSCs’ details were then to submitted along with the confirmation statement. Any changes to the company’s PSCs were to be notified once a year on filing of the confirmation statement unless the company had elected for Companies House to hold and maintain its register.

However, just as companies and their advisors were getting the hang of these new reporting measures, the 4MLD introduced more changes.

The most prominent change, and one that will affect most clients, is the reporting frequency of any changes made to PSCs.

This has reduced from being an annual requirement to being required within 28 days from the date of the change. Companies will have 14 days to update their register once notified of any changes and a further 14 days to notify Companies House of the change. This action has been taken to ensure that registers are kept up to date and are ‘current’ during the year rather than a ‘snapshot’ at one point in time.

The changes that need to be reported to Companies House via specific forms within 28 days include:

  • Change in nature of control (e.g. if the PSC acquires or sells shares)
  • Change to a PSC name or address
  • Change to the name of an RLE
  • If a PSC ceases to be a PSC

Companies House has recognised that the move to maintaining the PSC register has proved difficult for some, and the filing requirements may not have been fully understood or interpreted correctly by companies. As a result, Companies House plans to contact businesses whose PSC appears incorrect to help them comply. They will also be updating their PSC guidance and adding a ‘report it now’ button for those who experience problems when accessing information on the public register.

If you do require any assistance in preparing your Confirmation statement or Persons of Significant Control register or would like advice on how to update your details with Companies House, contact our Company Secretarial Department on 01254 688 100.