U.K. to Reform Companies Register to Protect Data of Executives

(Bloomberg) -- The U.K. plans to change the corporate registration system to increase the transparency of company ownership and management information while protecting personal data to prevent fraud.

Directors will be able to suppress personal details such as addresses under planned changes to the 170-year-old Companies House register published on Sunday. The register includes more than 4 million limited-ownership companies.

The measures will help combat economic crime by making it easier to identify owners and managers of companies, the government said in a statement.

Proposals include:

  • Making it clearer who is setting up, managing and controlling companies
  • Improving the accuracy and usability of data on the register, which in 2018 was accessed more than 6.5 billion times
  • Protecting personal information of company directors, who are often the target of identity fraud, while still allowing public authorities to access necessary information
  • Improving information sharing on company accounts to ensure “faster and more sophisticated identification of possible criminal activity”

©2019 Bloomberg L.P.