PSC Discrepancy Reporting and 5MLD Compliance at Companies House

In this article, we’ll be providing a brief explanation of the 5MLD as it pertains to Companies House, a review of people with significant control and the PSC register, and the manner and timing of reporting on PSC discrepancies.

We’ll also guide you on how to utilize our new online service for reporting PSC discrepancies. We have a team of Companies House experts who are eager to answer your queries.

Introduction to the new PSC discrepancy reporting service

Of course, bear in mind that we can only answer general questions and we can’t delve into specifics of individual cases. Now, as you might know, Companies House is the registry for limited companies in the UK. Sponsored by BEIS, the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, we register and dissolve limited companies, gather company data and make this data available to the public, boosting confidence in the UK economy. Our four offices are in London, Edinburgh, Belfast, and Cardiff, but most of our customers interact with us online, as it’s faster, more affordable and results in fewer rejections.

Just as a quick recap for those who just joined us, we’ll be providing an overview of 5MLD pertaining to Companies House, explaining what PSC is and the PSC register. We will guide you through the new discrepancy reporting service, how to access it, and the data you’ll need to utilize it.

The fifth monthly money laundering directive, or 5MLD, is an EU directive intended to prevent the use of the financial system for money laundering or terrorist financing. As the financial landscape evolves, new channels and financial products open up new opportunities for businesses and consumers but also for financial criminals. Thus, the FATF task force gave further advice in several areas to tighten money laundering regulation and terrorist financing.

The PSC Register

Under 4MLD, member states were required to establish or maintain a central register of beneficial owner data on registered corporate or other legal entities that identified persons of significant control. The introduction of a PSC register in the UK in 2016 was part of the government’s plan to enhance transparency in the ownership and control of companies.

Obliged Entities

The AML regulations necessitate obliged entities to inform Companies House of discrepancies. Currently, obliged entity refers to specific financial institutions and businesses such as credit institutions, financial institutions and money service businesses, auditors, accountants, tax advisors, legal entities, and others. You can find all this information on our website.

People with Significant Control

Who is a PSC? A PSC is anyone in a company who fulfills one or more of the conditions listed in the people with significant control regulations 2016. A PSC is a person who directly or indirectly holds more than 25% of the shares or voting rights, has a right to appoint or remove the majority of directors, or exercises significant influence or control over the company or the activities of a trust or firm which is not a legal person.

Recording PSC Data

Once a company identifies their PSC, they must record the data in their own PSC register and notify us. So, what constitutes a PSC discrepancy? A discrepancy exists when a relevant entity has data that clearly suggests that the PSC information recorded by Companies House is incorrect. This could be a discrepancy in the PSC’s nature of control, their name, their month and year of birth, their nationality, country of residence, correspondence address, or notified date. Our focus, however, is on factual errors such as a missing PSC or an incorrect correspondence address, not on typing errors.

When to Report a Discrepancy

Obliged entities must make a report if they find a discrepancy when establishing a new business relationship with a customer. You should report a discrepancy as quickly as possible.

To report a discrepancy, you will need the company number of the entity being reported as having a discrepancy, the type of discrepancy, the data on the PSC register you believe is incorrect, such as an incorrect address or an error in the nature of control. You’ll need the correct information you believe should be on the register and any other relevant data about the discrepancy that supports the report.

Using the New Online Service

It will take around 10 minutes to complete a discrepancy report. Make sure you have all the data at hand as the service will time out after 30 minutes and the information won’t be saved.

To report a discrepancy about a beneficial owner, search for GOV.UK. On the page, you’ll have access to all the data you need to understand 5MLD, obliged entities, PSC, and discrepancies. Halfway down, you’ll find the ‘Make a discrepancy report’ button, which is where you can begin the process.

I hope this has been helpful. If you have any further question, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us. We’re here to help.

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