The government, via the Home Office, has decided not to go ahead with plans to introduce a centralised register of bank account and safe deposit box ownership due to the high costs involved compared to the potential benefits.

Under the EU’s Fifth Anti-Money Laundering Directive (5AMLD) which was entered into UK law in 2020, EU member states are required to create a centralised automated register to enable authorities and anti-money laundering supervisors to identify the beneficial owners of bank accounts, payment accounts and safe deposit boxes.

This was going to take the form of a national online bank account portal in the UK.

Following the UK's formal exit from the EU and a review as to the costs and benefits of creating such a portal, the government has decided not to proceed with it on the grounds that it would be too costly for both the public and private sectors whilst not necessarily achieving its intended purposes.

The Treasury will be asked to remove the measure from UK law accordingly.

Useful guides on this topic

AML: Anti-Money Laundering Procedures and Checks
A subscriber guide to Anti-Money Laundering (AML) procedures and checks, including what factors to consider when taking on a new client and conducting your 'know your client' procedures.

AML: Checklist incorporating AML 5
This checklist incorporates the changes made by Anti-Money Laundering Directive 5. This is designed to be illustrative only and should give some insight into the changes you will need to make to your own systems in reviewing your existing clients.

AML: CCAB drafts for accountancy sector
The Consultative Committee of Accountancy Bodies (CCAB) has issued draft updated AML guidance for the accountancy sector which includes changes introduced from January 2020 by the EU's Fifth Anti-Money Laundering Directive (AML5) to the Money Laundering Regulations 2017 (MLR17).



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