Just 45% of firms have met ownership register deadline: FD

Amsterdam's business district Zuidas is popular with financial firms. Photo: DutchNews.nl
Amsterdam’s business district Zuidas is popular with financial firms. Photo: DutchNews.nl

The Dutch finance ministry estimates that no more than 45% of companies and institutions required to register who their main owners are have actually done so, the Financieele Dagblad said on Tuesday.

The register of ‘ultimate beneficial ownership’ is part of EU anti money-laundering efforts and seeks to establish who the real owners and controllers of companies, foundations and partnerships actually are.

But the measure has been widely criticised by shareholders because of the privacy aspects. Although the complete register is not accessible to everyone, they will be able to access personal details, such as the age and nationality, of owners and major shareholders.

Employers organisations and MPs had urged the finance ministry to extend the March 27 deadline for compliance because of the low take-up rate but officials have refused to do so.

Finance ministry information about the Ubo register, in English

The FD says some companies appear to be waiting for the verdict of a case currently being considered by the European Court of Justice, which centres on the Luxembourg Ubo register.

That case is looking at the balance the EU legislation strikes between combating money laundering and the financing of terrorism, with the right to privacy.

Campaign group Privacy First is also taking legal action against the Dutch register.

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