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NEWS: ID Checks on Directors in Companies House reforms

Updated: Feb 7, 2021

Xtract Accounting, the small business Accountants for Directors and Limited Companies, reports that the UK’s record of companies is to be reformed to introduce identity checks for Directors to combat major crime.

People moving through a concourse

The long overdue reform was announced by the Government on Friday in their full response to the Corporate Transparency and Register Reform consultation, in what it said is a ‘clamp down on fraud and money laundering’.

It comes after years of evidence that Companies House, the UK’s register of companies, is serially abused by gangsters and fraudsters. Experts on Corruption estimate that billions of pounds of illicit profits are laundered through the lax Companies House system every year.

This reform will finally force companies to prove who their directors are, by setting up a ‘fast, efficient, 24/7 digital verification process’.

Under the government’s plan, Companies House will be given new powers to query and reject information and bar directors from being appointed until their identity has been verified.

Professional service providers like Accountants, will also be required to submit evidence of identity checks carried out on their clients to Companies House.

Whilst the announcement has been welcomed by campaigners for corporate transparency, it is not yet clear when the changes will be implemented because they will first require legislation to be passed in Parliament.

"No place to hide"

Ministers say this simple change will help businesses and individuals know who they are dealing with. More importantly, they will help the National Crime Agency to track down suspects and bring criminals to justice quicker than ever before.

Lord Callanan, minister for corporate responsibility, said: “Mandatory identity verification will mean criminals have no place to hide – allowing us to clamp down on fraud and money laundering and ensure people cannot manipulate the UK market for their own financial gain.”

He said the government will consult on further changes to make Companies House more useful and usable, including reforms to the filing of company accounts.

About the Author of this post…

A portrait of Gordon Roe

Hi, my name is Gordon Roe and I am the Founder and Managing Director of Xtract Accounting. Having worked in an accountancy practice setting for well over a decade, I had become accustomed to the same annual routine for clients - Books in… Analyse… Queries out… Answers in… Finalise… Accounts and Tax Advice out.

Then, in 2020 I realised I could use advancements in technology and software to significantly improve the relationship between accountant and client, and at the same time, provide an insightful and real-time tax advice service. After all, that is what the modern client expects and deserves!

And so, Xtract Accounting was born…

Xtract Accounting are online accountants based in Lincolnshire, who offer proactive small business accountancy services exclusively to Directors and Owner Managed, Micro and SME Limited Companies throughout the UK.

We specialise in helping Directors Xtract more out for the work they put in!

Our monthly 'FD' service with fixed monthly fees, sees us take on the more proactive role of Finance Director for your business, and offers a plethora of benefits including:

  • Inclusive accounting software provided by FreeAgent,

  • Your very own dedicated accountant,

  • Regular insights into how to maximise your tax efficient (or even tax free!) income,

  • Jargon-free telephone and email support,

  • Plus, much, much more!

With Xtract Accounting, you can be sure your accounts and tax will be kept up-to-date and organised.

Find out more about us or connect with us on Social Media (below)


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