New Companies House rules to “crack down” on corporate fraud

Directors will need to verify that they are real people before they can act for a company, according to new proposals.

The measure forms part of a new crack down on corporate fraud in a bid to improve transparency and confidence in the UK supply chain.

Launching the plans, the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS) said the new Companies House rules, which include an identity verification requirement and new powers to investigate dubious directors, will “stop criminals from hiding behind complex corporate structures”.

The reforms have been summarised below:

Identity verification: Only companies whose boards comprise real people with verified identities will be allowed to act as corporate directors of other companies, preventing fraudsters from “concealing their true identities”.

View the consultation here: Implementing the ban on corporate directors

Fully digital: Companies House will reduce the administrative burden on businesses and boost the quality of data on the register by making the filing process more consistent, with all companies required to submit accounts to the register online.

View the consultation here: Improving the quality and value of financial information on the UK companies register

Investigative powers: Companies House will be given new discretionary powers to query, investigate and remove false or inaccurate information.

View the consultation here: Powers of the registrar

Commenting on the proposals, Minister for Corporate Responsibility Lord Callanan said: “Today’s proposals set out further detail on our far-reaching reforms to ensure the Companies House register is fit for the 21st century – allowing us to crack down on fraud and money laundering, while providing businesses with greater confidence in their transactions.”

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