New ROE powers and penalties, what do they mean for me?

26 Jun 2024, 30 mins ago

In a series of recent overhauls, the UK government has sought to arm registrars of the Register of Overseas Entities (ROE) with wider discretionary powers and the ability to issue harsher penalties in an attempt to improve its lacklustre functionality.

Where did this come from?

Increased public scrutiny and a scathing report co-authored by scholars at Warwick, LSE and the centre for public data have prompted a shift in approach by the government to increase the efficacy of the ROE, a body initially established in August 2022.

Recent changes

The ECTEA (Economic Crime (Transparency & Enforcement) Act) marks the most recent addition in a series of reforms, establishing stricter regulations on Overseas Entities (OE’s). In order to purchase, sell or create new charges over land, Overseas Entities are now required to register with Companies House, disclosing information regarding OE’s registrable beneficial owners.

Failure to comply and disclose the newly required details could see beneficial owners receive punitive fines or prison sentences. Registrars of the ROE have also been emboldened with new powers to issue warning notices (where an offence is suspected to have been committed) and penalty notices (where registrars are satisfied an offence has been committed) with punitive fines scaling with council tax bands (or house price index).

A general responsibility has been placed on the beneficial owners of OE’s to register by the end of the grace period, update their information periodically (annually), resolve any inconsistencies in the register and resolve any notices or risk being subject to the new powers and legislation.

How can Gherson help?

Gherson is a specialised boutique law firm that can advise and provide support with the new regulations as well as help challenge any penalties incurred where appeal is an option.

If you have any questions arising from this article, please do not hesitate to contact us for advice, or send us an e-mail. Don’t forget to follow us on XFacebookInstagram, or LinkedIn to stay-up-to-date on the latest developments.

The information in this article is for general information purposes only and does not purport to be comprehensive or to provide legal advice. Whilst every effort is made to ensure the information and law is current as of the date of publication it should be stressed that, due to the passage of time, this does not necessarily reflect the present legal position. Gherson accepts no responsibility for loss which may arise from accessing or reliance on information contained in this blog. For formal advice on the current law please do not hesitate to contact Gherson. Legal advice is only provided pursuant to a written agreement, identified as such, and signed by the client and by or on behalf of Gherson.

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