In 2012, the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) strengthened its international standards on beneficial ownership, to give more clarity about how countries should ensure information is available, and to deal with vulnerabilities such a bearer shares and nominees. In total 198 jurisdictions subsequently committed to implementing the FATF’s strengthened standards on beneficial ownership. The FATF then followed up by issuing Guidance on Transparency and Beneficial Ownership in 2014 to further clarify what the FATF standards require. However, in July 2016 the FATF reported to the G20 that it had identified some significant implementation challenges on beneficial ownership.

The FATF has now published a report that is intended to update the G20 on its work on the transparency of, and timely access to, beneficial ownership information. In the report the FATF states that it will work on the following proposals on reinforcing implementation of the existing international standards relating to transparency and beneficial ownership:

  • ensure the emphasis on beneficial ownership in the FATF peer review follow-up processes is effective to apply peer pressure to countries to accelerate their implementation of the FATF Standards in this area;
  • deliver clear and consistent recommendations to countries on how to improve implementation of the beneficial ownership requirements during assessment processes; and
  • enhance cooperation between the FATF and the Global Forum to further ensure the coherence and mutual reinforcement of work to improve transparency in relation to beneficial ownership, including through identifying examples of effective implementation.

The FATF also proposes that the G20 lead by example by issuing a public commitment by its members to meet the FATF standards on beneficial ownership.

View FATF report to G20 on beneficial ownership, 7 October 2016

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