22/01/24

Beneficial Ownership Registers 2.0: What Can Be Expected After The European Court Of Justice Decision Of 22 November 2022?

Public registers of the beneficial owners of companies (UBO registers) had become the ‘new normal’ in most of Europe. Since 2016, the United Kingdom (UK), the European Union (EU), and the countries of the European Economic Area (EEA) had enacted registers of the ultimate beneficial owners (UBO) of their corporate entities. Such registers could be easily accessed by anybody, often free of charge and in most cases in an anonymous and untraceable way. Some suggestions were voiced that this set-up could be an invasion of the individuals’ right to privacy. Nonetheless, the mainstream approach was that such a limitation of a fundamental right was necessary for the sake of a higher ideal of transparency and more specifically for an effective fight against money laundering (AML).