Significant Control Register 12 months later
UK companies have already had a year to get to grips with the People of Significant Control (PSC) Register that came into effect on 1st April 2016, as part of the Small Business, Enterprise and Employment Act 2015.
The development marks another boost for business intelligence, with the information on the individuals that exercise control in companies – including but not exclusive to directors – being publicly available to search on the Companies House website amongst other sources.
The PSC Register applies to all companies that are not publicly limited and includes the details of individuals that own more than 25% of a company’s shares or that hold more than 25% of a company’s voting rights. Other possible criteria include an individual that holds the right to appoint or remove the majority of company directors, as well as those that have “the right to, or actually exercise significant influence or control” or “hold the right to exercise or actually exercise significant control over a trust or company that meets any of the other four conditions”.
The register shows the demonstration that the government has to follow the path set out by the G8 for greater corporate transparency, cementing the UK’s place as a world leader in data reform. This also feeds into the UK government’s declaration to drive out corruption and shed light on tax avoidance practices.
Financial services firms, from insurance to pension providers, will often have to call in accountants in order to look at often complex ownership models and determine who are the correct company figures to appear on the PSC Register. The current register also helps UK companies in cases where asset tracing is needed to help solve international disputes.
There may also be tax implications – if there are steps taken to ensure that the privacy of an individual is protected, they may need to be checked for their ‘tax efficiency’. Employee Benefit Trusts are another area which could come under scrutiny as implications of the PSC start to emerge.
What is certain though, is that the PSC Register requires many companies to call in specialist help, be it to ease the administrative burden of the new regulations, or to help them maximise the open data benefits that they bring.
So what can all this data be used for?
- If you know how companies are connected by their holdings you can build a profile of a company’s structure
- Track changes in a competitor, has a daughter taken over from her father? Do they have new investors?
- Compliance checks, do you know everything you need to about a company or person? Are they connected to other interests you weren’t aware of?
By capturing and connecting this data interested parties have the ability to peek behind the looking glass. What can you find? Probably a lot of people furiously trying to reduce ownership below 25%, but none the less it’s still a positive step forward.
Doorda has a complete copy of the current PSC, but we have taken it further than Companies House in that we allow you to see holdings by a person or company. You can also see where the holdings are registered as being held.
For further information have a look at our commercial data solution LUGUS.