US Moves Increase Corporate Ownership Transparency

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Trying to expose shell companies currently used to disguise or hide illicit wealth, banks, anti-corruption groups, law-enforcement and the US Senate are working to create a national database listing the true owners of companies, The Wall Street Journal reported on Tuesday.

Such a move, currently being proposed in a Senate draft bill would make it possible for authorities to reveal money hidden from tax authorities or obtained through criminal activities.

The US Treasury already passed a rule in 2016, which goes into effect in May of this year, requiring banks to identify the true owners of corporate account-holders. But many in the US financial industry support the creation of a national database, because it would move the burden of identifying true company owners from banks to law enforcement.

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