All trusts held within the European Union could be forced to name beneficial owners if new rules proposed by the European Parliament are formally approved later this month.
Two European Parliament committees have voted to amend the Fourth EU Anti-Money Laundering Directive (AMLD), which will require trusts and trust-like entities to publicly identify their beneficial owners.
The original form of the directive was adopted by all EU institutions in May 2015. It required member states to create national registers of beneficial ownership of companies and some express trusts.
Public access to this information was to be restricted although company ownership data would be fully available to the relevant public authorities, and to those who could demonstrate a ‘legitimate interest’. Information on trusts was to be accessible only to the authorities and obliged entities.