The proposal is based on European rules aimed at preventing money laundering and terrorist financing, and it applies to corporate and other entities that are incorporated or founded in the Netherlands, regardless of where their business is located.
It comes at a time where the crown dependencies are looking to stop the UK from forcing public registers on them.
Joe Moynihan, chief executive of promotional body Jersey Finance, told International Adviser: “As far as Jersey is concerned, our consistent position is that we follow global standards as set out by the Financial Action Task Force and, to that end, we already hold a central registry containing verified UBO information that is shared with authorities around the world.
“In our view, diverse and fragmented approaches to public registers, which are unproven to work in combatting financial crime, are not helpful and we continue to work with all parties to try and establish clarity in this area looking forward.”
The negativity surrounding public registers was not fully echoed by the Isle of Man government, which saw some positives in the Dutch plan.
It told IA: “The Isle of Man government is looking closely at developing international standards in respect of public registers of beneficial ownership and is in regular dialogue with the UK government on the issue.
“The approach being taken in the Netherlands will be helpful in informing a wider understanding of how these measures can work in practice.”
Guernsey is sticking with its original standpoint of welcoming deferrals to the register, and believes any bill passed in the UK parliament could lead to a breakdown in relationship between the UK and the crown dependencies.
Four years late
The Dutch register will be introduced as part of the Trade Register of the Chamber of Commerce in January 2020, after which all newly-registered companies will have to comply.
However, existing businesses will have a further 18 months, until mid-2021, to register; which is four years past the deadline set by the EU Fourth Anti-Money Laundering Directive, according to law firm Baker McKenzie.
Details of Dutch UBO
Beneficial owners of a company are defined as people who own or exercise more than 25% of the shares or voting powers or control the business.
Under the register, the public will have access to the full name, month and year of birth, nationality, country of residence, and nature and extent of the economic interest of UBOs.
Additional information will be available to relevant domestic authorities; such as the UBO’s residential address; day, place and country of birth; citizen number or foreign tax identification number; copy of passport; and documents proving their economic interest in the entity.