One country considered high risk for money laundering and three medium-risk nations are negotiating to share company ownership records with the world's first open access, cross-border database of corporate beneficiaries, say sources.
The leak of millions of records purporting to show widespread exploitation of offshore financial centers by global leaders, lenders and criminals is expected to draw governmental scrutiny of illicit finance, however unevenly.
A U.K. plan to require foreign businesses to disclose their owners when purchasing property would give bank compliance teams more data to sift through and more work to complete, say industry experts.
U.K. overseas territories officials in London this week pledged to create central registries or similar effective systems to share data on beneficial owners more easily with financial crime investigators, but didn't disclose when and how they would comply with the initiative.
U.K. lawmakers are considering drafting legislation to force the nation's overseas territories to make corporate ownership data more readily available to investigators, according to sources.