News | July 1, 2019

Transposition of the Fifth Money Laundering Directive – Consultation Response: Wedlake Bell LLP

In April 2019, H M Treasury published its consultation concerning the government’s approach and its plans for the implementation of the EU Fifth Money Laundering Directive (5MLD) into national law. Consultation is taking place on the basis that there will be a withdrawal agreement and implementation period after the UK’s exit from the EU so that the UK will be required to implement the changes to the trust register even if it has left the EU by January 2020. Wedlake Bell’s Private Client team have responded specifically to the changes to the trust registration service required by 5MLD, in particular the requirement for all ‘express trusts’ to be registered and how that data will be protected. The definition of ‘express trusts’ is wide and will include jointly owned property, insurance policy trusts and dormant trusts which have no tax consequences. We oppose the idea of these trusts being subject to registration on the trust register as it will add an unnecessary level of red tape and cost burden for these trusts. We consider the scope of the Directive disproportionate to the money laundering risk which has already been recognised as low where UK Trusts are concerned.  A more detailed technical consultation run by HMRC concerning the trust registration service will be published later this year, taking into account responses to this consultation.

Please click here to read the consultation response.