Ministers announce fraud protection reforms for firms

There are plans to have more safeguards on the personal data of business owners and ensure the accuracy of registers at Companies House

REFORMS have been unveiled by the government aimed at offering companies better protection from fraud.

Ministers said there will be more safeguards on the personal data of business owners and moves to ensure the accuracy of registers at Companies House.

Business Minister Kelly Tolhurst said the aim was to minimise the burden on law-abiding companies, and increase the traceability of company ownership while offering businesses greater protection from fraud.

The proposed reforms will help increase the accuracy of the information available on the companies register, which last year was accessed 6.5 billion times and, as of March 2018, included over four million limited companies.

In the last three years there have been almost 10,000 complaints to Companies House from people concerned about their personal details, with worries including fraud.

Ms Tolhurst said: "The UK already has some of the strongest protections in the world against money laundering.

"The reforms announced today will support the fight against the use of dirty money in the UK and enhance the protections for entrepreneurs and directors from criminal activity.

"Knowing that a company's information is accurate and transparent is a fundamental part of a leading business environment - giving entrepreneurs and businesses the confidence they need to do business in the UK."

Chief executive of Companies House Louise Smyth said: "The register already plays a vital role in contributing to the UK's economy through the investment decisions which rely on our data.

"This package of reforms represent a significant milestone for Companies House as they will enable us to play a greater part in tackling economic crime, protect directors from identity theft and fraud and improve the accuracy of the register."

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