The Economic Crime and Corporate Transparency Act received Royal Assent on Thursday 26 October.
Robust laws to fight fraud, counter corruption and bolster legitimate business received Royal Assent today.
The Economic Crime and Corporate Transparency Act introduces world-leading powers which will allow UK authorities to proactively target organised criminals and others seeking to abuse the UK’s open economy.
Companies House will receive enhanced abilities to verify the identities of company directors, remove fraudulent organisations from the company register and share information with criminal investigation agencies.
Law enforcement agencies will benefit from greater powers to seize, freeze and recover cryptoassets, while groundbreaking legal reforms will allow the courts to dismiss spurious lawsuits which seek to stifle freedom of speech. Prosecutors will be better able to hold large corporations accountable for malpractice.
These changes will level the playing field for all businesses, ensuring the UK’s open economy remains a world class centre for businesses to grow and prosper.
Home Secretary Suella Braverman said:
I am committed to ensuring criminals do not profit from their offending and this landmark act will help law enforcement clampdown on the tactics they use. It will have a big impact on our ability to fight organised crime, including terrorist funding, fraud and money laundering, and that will ultimately help keep us all safe.
Business Minister Kevin Hollinrake said:
We’re providing Companies House with the tools to take a much harder line on criminals who take advantage of the UK’s open economy, ensuring the reputation of our businesses is not tarnished by the UK playing host to the world’s scammers.
These reforms will remove the smoke and mirrors around companies hiding behind false identities, provide further protection to the public from companies fraudulently using their addresses, and deliver better data to support business and lending decisions across the economy, enhancing the UK’s reputation as a great and safe place to do business.
Lord Chancellor Alex Chalk said:
We will not stand by while wealthy individuals abuse our courts with malicious lawsuits designed to gag reporters exposing their misconduct.
This act reinforces our unwavering commitment to protect freedom of speech, and end the brazen exploitation of our legal system by corrupt elites.
The powers given to Companies House form the biggest shakeup to the service in its 180-year history.
See the complete press release here