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UK’s Register of Foreign Property Owners Comes Into Effect - BLOOMBERG

AUGUST 04, 2022
  • Overseas buyers have six months to register their UK assets
  • It is a key tool in the UK’s attempt to limit money laundering
  • A key tool in the UK’s clampdown on money laundering in the wake of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine comes into effect Monday.

    The Register of Overseas Entities will require the owners of UK properties that are held through overseas companies to declare their beneficial owners or managing officers. Owners have six months to register their UK assets.

    The move could herald the end of an era for London which has been a magnet for foreign buyers, some of whom have used the country’s lax rules to hide their wealth. The register was first proposed by former prime minister David Cameron but its implementation was repeatedly stalled as lawmakers dragged their feet. 

    Russia’s illegal invasion of Ukraine earlier this year finally prompted ministers to act, accelerating its start in an attempt to show it was serious about targeting the oligarch enablers of Russian President Vladamir Putin.  

    The rules will apply to properties in England and Wales that have been bought since 1999 and since December 2014 in Scotland. Those that fail to comply with the rules will be fined as much as £2,500 ($3,052) a day or face a prison sentence of up to five years.

    — With assistance by Alex Morales


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