The legislator foresees to amend the Law of 13 January 2019 establishing the Beneficial Owner Register (BO Law), which will allow financial actors to potentially benefit from increased quality and accessibility of beneficial ownership information, including for due diligence purposes.
Some of the new features of the draft Law are as follows:
- Allowing registered entities to make declarations to the Luxembourg Business Register (LBR) through a new secure electronic system. As financial professionals increasingly need to benefit from digital services, this change can only encourage innovation, especially in the case of mass reporting. The downside is that such an electronic platform should also be made available to those subject to the AML/CFT Law of 12 November 2004, when they perform due diligence on their clients/prospects at on-boarding or during the business relationship. For the time being, it is only possible to access information on beneficial owners through the website of the LBR.
- Interconnecting the data of the Trade and Companies Register (RCS) and the LBR, for better access to information on companies and their beneficial owners. The draft law explains in this respect that "the administrative procedure for reporting to the LBR could be simplified if the “senior managing officials” (as the case may be) were to be registered in the LBR and then be proposed to the declarant to include in the LBR the “legal representatives” registered within the RCS”.
- Interconnecting the LBR with the beneficial owners registers of other Member States, in accordance with the anti-money laundering Directive, so that it can update its own database.
- Strengthening the powers of the LBR, in particular by ensuring that it plays a more proactive role in monitoring the information of BOs, e.g. by further monitoring the BOs database for up-to-date and accurate information. This is in the interest of national authorities and obliged entities, as financial actors in the EU often complain that the information in the LBR is not always accurate, which can undermine efforts to identify beneficial owners involved in financial crime.
Overall, the legislator seems to be anticipating future provisions in the proposed Sixth Anti-Money Laundering Directive on beneficial ownership registers, which include empowering the authorities in charge of such registers to manage the information in the database and to be given appropriate administrative powers.
By Julien Leroy, Senior Legal Adviser