On 3 December, an article from Mayer Brown provided an update, saying that a total of 81 jurisdictions worldwide have passed laws requiring beneficial ownership to be registered with a government authority. For example, although the UK has made arguably the most progress in this area, its Crown Dependencies and Overseas Territories have generally seen slower developments – the islands of Jersey, Guernsey and the Isle of Man have introduced registers but will only make them publicly available from 2023; and the US Congress is considering introducing legislation that would require shell companies to report beneficial ownership information to a private database, although access would be limited to law enforcement agencies – this would be an important step forward in the US, which is now ranked second in the world for financial secrecy, below only the Cayman Islands. Most countries have opted for a definition of beneficial owner based on a percentage of shares owned or controlled by the individual. The most common threshold, which has been adopted by the UK and EU Member States, is 25% or more. Some countries have established lower thresholds. In Argentina, Botswana, Ecuador and Saudi Arabia, anyone with just one share in a company is to be identified. In Ghana there is no threshold for the definition of beneficial ownership.
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