FATF recommendations

Requirement for keeping records of significant controllers

Legal rules of individual jurisdictions (see below)

  • British Virgin Islands - The BOSSs Act, and the BOSS amendment Act, effective as from 30 June 2017
  • Hong Kong - Part 12, Companies Ordinance, effective as from 1st March 2018
  • Singapore - Companies (Register of Controllers and Nominee Directors) Regulations 2017
  • The United Kingdom - Part 21A of the Companies Act
  • The United States - Corporate Transparency Act 

Law enforecement in Hong Kong [read]


FATF Recommendations


The FATF is an inter-governmental body established in 1989 that sets international standards on combating money laundering and preventing terrorist financing. Over the years, the FATF has developed an elaborate set of 40 recommendations, based on which the international community has been strengthening regulation to combat money laundering and terrorist financing (“ML/TF”).


Member jurisdictions take turns to evaluate the domestic anti-money laundering and counter-terrorist financing (“AML/CTF”) regime of each other to assess the extent to which the relevant FATF recommendations are observed, both in terms of technical compliance and effectiveness of implementation.


Requirement for Keeping Record of Significant Controllers (Beneficial Owners)


The FATF requires member jurisdictions to take measures to prevent the misuse of legal persons for ML/TF, by ensuring that adequate and accurate information on the beneficial owners and control of legal persons can be obtained or accessed in a timely fashion by competent authorities including law enforcement agencies. The FATF defines a beneficial owner as a natural person who ultimately has a controlling ownership interest in a company, or is exercising control of the company through other means.


Legal rules of Individual Jurisdictions


  • British Virgin Islands - Beneficial Ownership Secure Search System Act, 2017 (read)
  • British Virgin Islands - Beneficial Ownership Secure Search System (Amendment) Act, 2017 (the BOSS amedment)
  • Hong Kong - 2018 Companies Amendment Ordinance [read], [elaborations
  • Hong Kong - Administrative guideline for Companies to keep significant controllers registers [read]
  • Singapore - Companies (Register of Controllers and Nominee Directors) Regulations 2017 [read]
  • United Kingdom - Small Business, Enterprise and Employment Act 2015 [read
  • United Kingdom - Register of People with Significant Control - Administrative guideline [read]
  • United States - Corporate Transparency Act and CFR [read]