Reasons to choose Wilson Browne
The Economic Crime and Corporate Transparency Bill gained royal assent on 26th October 2023 and has now become law.
The resulting Economic Crime and Corporate Transparency Act 2023 (Act) affects UK companies and businesses by aiming to improve transparency and accountability to strengthen the regime around the prevention of money laundering and fraud.
The Act implements new and wide-ranging measures which include the following:
- The creation of a Register of Overseas Entities to make it harder for overseas criminals to process illicit money through UK corporate structures.
- Empowering Government to impose sanctions more quickly and efficiently.
- Giving increased powers to the Serious Fraud Office.
- Giving law enforcement agencies increased powers to seize, freeze and recover crypto assets.
- Giving prosecutors increased powers to hold large corporations accountable for malpractice.
- The strengthening of powers in relation to unexplained wealth orders.
- Giving Companies House enhanced abilities to verify the identities of company directors, remove fraudulent organisations from the company register and share information with criminal investigation agencies.
What should companies and businesses be doing?
There are various measures that can be implemented to assist businesses to comply with the Act. Some examples of these measures include the following:
- Ensuring that robust anti-fraud policies and procedures are in place. The existence of such policies and procedures will assist businesses to demonstrate that they are taking reasonable and proportionate steps to identify and prevent fraud.
- Ensuring that businesses are fully aware of their potential exposure to fraud by conducting regular risk assessments.
- Ensuring that such policies, procedures, and risk assessments are regularly reviewed and updated in respect of any changes to the legislative framework, or to the commercial activities of the business concerned.
- Ensuring that employees and workers engaged in the business receive periodic training on the operation of and compliance with the applicable policies and procedures. Records of the completion of such training should also be kept in the business’ personnel files.
How we can help
The Corporate and Commercial team at Wilson Browne Solicitors is ideally placed to advise on all legal aspects of the steps that companies and businesses can take to ensure compliance with the Act.
For a confidential and no obligation initial discussion about how we may be able to help, please contact the Corporate and Commercial team on 0800 088 6004 or fill in the online form.