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Yellen announces a global agreement with 20 countries to increase beneficial ownership disclosure

On Tuesday, US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen launched a commitment between the US and more than 20 governments to establish a registry of the beneficial owners of legal companies in order to effectively combat corruption.

At the U.S. State Department’s Summit for Democracy, Yellen unveiled the new program, which includes steps to put the principles for transparency and beneficial ownership of legal entities set forth by the Financial Action Task Force into practice.

According to the commitment, signing countries must update their legal and regulatory structures to guarantee that law enforcement agencies and other authorities have easy access to information on beneficial ownership.

This is done in an effort to make it harder for corrupt individuals to use shady corporate structures and legal entities to hide their names, wealth, and criminal activity.

Yellen stated in prepared remarks that "this commitment is in line with the revised FATF standard, which requires countries to improve the transparency of legal persons, like shell companies, and to prevent their misuse."

"And it reaffirms the broad support that the United States and its democratic partners share for enhancing financial transparency, fighting corruption, and upholding the rule of law."

According to Yellen, the signatories agreed to prioritize the financial, staff, and technical resources required to put the ownership transparency measures in place as a crucial component of the network's anti-money laundering and anti-terrorist financing network.



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