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Public register puts basic concept of trusts in question

New anti-money laundering rules could undermine the take-up of trusts, says Filippo Noseda

14 March 2014

On 11 March 2014 the EU parliament voted in a plenary sitting to pass proposals to establish public registries of trusts in the EU. The register forms part of a broader draft of the EU's fourth anti-money laundering directive.

The draft rules call on settlors, trustees and the ultimate beneficiaries of trusts to list their names in publically available registers that will be interconnected across EU countries. UK MEPs have worked hard to limit the amount of information made available on trusts - and unsuccessfully tabled the suggestion that only trusts relating to those individuals considered high risk should be listed - but the general concept of a public register calls the whole usage of trusts into question.

Common law

Within the EU it is really only the UK and Ireland,...

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