On 26 October 2023, the Economic Crime and Corporate Transparency Act received Royal Assent.

06 Nov 2023, 25 mins ago

The Act follows The Economic Crime (Transparency and Enforcement) Act 2022.

The 2022 Act:

  • Allowed the government to move faster when imposing sanctions;
  • Created a Register of Overseas Entities (ROE) to target foreign criminals using UK property to launder money;
  • Reformed the UK’s Unexplained Wealth Order (UWO) regime.

What’s new?

The 2023 Act goes a step further in advancing the government’s aim to curb what they view as some of the negative externalities of the UK’s ‘open for business’ economy. The Act includes measures to tackle economic crime and improve corporate transparency by providing: 

  • Reforms to Companies House;
  • Reforms to prevent the abuse of limited partnerships;
  • Additional powers to seize and recover suspected criminal cryptoassets;
  • Reforms to give businesses more confidence to share information in order to tackle money laundering and other economic crime; and
  • New intelligence gathering powers for law enforcement and removal of nugatory burdens on business.

What might it mean?

The Act brings about a number of changes that, if implemented correctly, may benefit the UK. Among these changes are that Companies House will receive greater powers to verify the identities of company directors, remove fraudulent organisations from the company register and share information with criminal investigation agencies.

Law enforcement agencies will also benefit from greater scope to seize, freeze, and recover cryptoassets, while the “ground-breaking” new Act will allow the courts to dismiss spurious lawsuits which seek to stifle freedom of speech.

Among the many additions to the Act, it will now also enable prosecutors to hold large corporations accountable for malpractice.

The Act shifts the emphasis to businesses to tackle fraud and corruption at source. This will have important ramifications for organisations as they adapt to these new remands. Moreover, anti-corruption and fraud agencies within the UK government will need to react quickly, necessitating more effective enforcement.

How Gherson can assist

Gherson’s white-collar crime and regulatory team are able to provide advice and assistance with AML, regulatory and sanctions compliance, including in situations involving cryptoassets. If you have any questions arising from this blog relating to The Economic Crime and Corporate Transparency Act or any other sanctions related issues,  please do not hesitate to contact us for advice, send us an e-mail, or, alternatively, follow us on TwitterFacebook, Instagram, or LinkedIn to stay-up-to-date.

The information in this blog 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.

©Gherson 2023