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KYC / AML: Ultimate Beneficial Owner (UBO) data will no longer be publicly available in the EU

On 22 November, the European Court of Justice invalidated the provision of the Anti-Money Laundering Directive requiring EU Member States to grant general access to UBO registers on data protection grounds. Some EU countries have already provisionally restricted their access to the registers. Ultimate Beneficial Owners (UBOs) are beneficial owners of a company with more than 25% of the voting rights. Details of these individuals are necessary to carry out correct KYC procedures. Read more about this in our latest blog article.

René Blaschke
November 29, 2022

On November 22, The Court of Justice of the European Union has invalidated the provision of the AMLD (Anti-Money Laundering Directive) that requires EU member states to provide general access to UBO registers. The ruling states that the wide access to this information constitutes a serious invasion of GDPR in terms of breaking privacy and protection of personal data.

Ultimate Beneficial Owners (UBOs)are the owners or persons with majority control (more than 25% of shares or voting rights) over an organization. UBO data is crucial for performing correct KYC procedures and for anti-money laundering in general.

Is not yet clear how EU member states will react to the ruling. Some states have already, restricted public access to  UBO data. Luxembourg and the Netherlands are two of the pioneers in closing their public access. In The Netherlands, the the Minister of Finance  has instructed the Chamber of Commerce to temporarily close the UBO registeruntil the court ruling has been finalised.

As a result,  organizations without access to UBO data, must now  be more careful when information about beneficial owners

cleversoft offers CleverKYC, a digital onboarding platform that allows end clients  to directly add data on beneficial owners and corporate structures so that it can sent directly to the KYC system for screening and risk calculation. If you have any questions about it, feel free to reach out to our sales consultants.

More articles for reference:  Anti-money-laundering directive: the provision whereby the information on the beneficial ownership of companies incorporated within the territory of the Member States is accessible in all cases to any member of the general public is invalid (