Corporate transparency important, but rules must be proportionate

16th July 2013

Commenting on the publication of a government discussion paper on company ownership, following commitments made at the recent G8 Summit in Northern Ireland, John Longworth, Director General of the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC), said: -Most British businesses are transparent not just in their dealings, but also in their ownership arrangements.

So we welcome ministers' intention to work with the business community to increase transparency and trust further.  -Many companies will, however, have some concerns about the potential regulatory and compliance burden that a register of company beneficial ownership would create. Far too often, it is the law-abiding, tax-paying, job-creating business rather than the shadowy minority that suffers when universal regulations are introduced. -We will work closely with ministers to ensure these concerns are addressed, and that any new requirements are focused and proportionate. At the same time, the government must ensure that the UK is not the only G8 country to take action on this issue. Good corporate governance is a global issue, not just a British one.

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