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Changes to the PSC Regime

Since the PSC Regulations came into effect in June 2016, changes to a company’s PSC information have been filed annually at Companies House on the Confirmation Statement.

However, this procedure changed on 26 June 2017 and a company/LLP now has 14 days to update its own PSC register, and a further 14 days to inform Companies House of the changes.  New forms PSC01 to PSC09 (LL PSC01 to LL PSC09 for LLPs) have been designed to notify Companies House of any PSC changes as soon as they occur and the Webfiling service has a new section to update these details without the need to submit a new Confirmation Statement.

The reason for the change is the Fourth Money Laundering Directive (4MLD), which became effective on 26 June 2017 and states that information about beneficial ownership must be “current”.  Under the previous PSC regime, although it was possible to file multiple Confirmation Statements for the same annual fee, companies were only obliged to file one per year. As a result, the public register was not always fully up-to-date.

The reason for the change is the Fourth Money Laundering Directive (4MLD), which became effective on 26 June 2017 and states that information about beneficial ownership must be “current”.

The scope of the PSC regime has also been extended under the 4MLD to cover Scottish Partnerships and Scottish Limited Partnerships (SPs and SLPs) and AIM companies (and companies listed on other smaller exchanges), both of which were previously exempt.  All SPs and SLPs were given one month from the date of implementation of 4MLD to file their PSC information at Companies House, i.e. by 24 July 2017.

An element of the PSC regime which remains consistent despite the impact of 4MLD, is the obligations on companies to ensure their internal PSC Registers are kept up-to-date.  No case law is yet in place for any action taken against a company or an LLP in relation to this, however a company failing to keep its PSC Register up-to-date is still committing a criminal offence.

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