The RBO released their annual report for the year 2022 recently on the 6th of July.
The Register of Beneficial Owners underwent significant changes in 2022 as the general public’s access to the RBO was suspended on the 28th of November 2022 following a ruling by the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) on the 22nd of November 2022 which over turned the provisions of Directive (EU) 2015/849 as amended by Directive (EU) 2018/843. Following this designated persons gained access back on the 22nd of December 2022.
Below is a brief summary of the findings of the report:
- There are a total of 239,444 companies (85% of entities required to file) and 698 societies (74% of entities required to file) had filed beneficial ownership information.
- The number of firsttimeregistrations on the RBO has decreased in 2022, with 22,501 companies and 77 societies registered compared with 28,111 companies and 77 societies in 2021.
- The number of companies required to register with the RBO increased by 31,250 in 2022.
- The number of societies required to register with the RBO decreased by 25 in 2022.
- The total number of submissions received was 96,549 (6,639 of these were BEN2 applications) compared with 87,766 in 2021.
- The rejection rate of submissions to the RBO was 19.61% this is a decrease from 20.99% in 2021.
- The number of Discrepancy Notices increased significantly in 2022 compared with 2021.
- The number of Non-Compliance Notices increased significantly in 2022 compared with 2021.
The number of DN2s and NCNs received increased due to the implementation of the Criminal Justice (Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing) (Amendment) Act 2021 Act on 23rd April 2021 which requires designated persons such as banks, financial institutions and other service providers to inspect the RBO as part of their customer due diligence before establishing a business relationship with a customer and to report any discrepancies and non-compliance to the Registrar.
The RBO continued its Non-Compliance reminder campaign in 2022 and 6,628 e-mail reminders to file post incorporation were sent out to entities.
The RBO also began an enforcement campaign in quarter 2 of 2022 and 11 entities were prosecuted.
- Five entities were convicted, and each fined €3,000.
- One entity was convicted and fined €1,000.
- Five entities pleaded guilty, and the Probation Act was applied.
In 2023 the RBO is expected to continue its enforcement campaign against entities that fail or refuse to file on the register. The RBO also have indicated the access to the register may be restored for the general public who have a legitimate interest in it. The BEN2 number has also been replaced with the Identified Persons Number (IPN) to align with the CRO and their new requirements for an IPN or PPSN for company directors.
What to expect in 2023?
On June 16th a new Statutory Instrument (S.I.) 308/2023 – relating to European Union (Anti-Money Laundering: Beneficial Ownership Of Corporate Entities) (Amendment) Regulations 2023 was published. The S.I. aims to change access to the beneficial ownership register (RBO) which was shut to the general public last year to those whom can demonstrate ‘legitimate interest’. While it is not currently in place with RBO, the S.I. states that those who meet the requirements and this is deemed acceptable to the Registrar.
S.I. 308/2023 requires that a public submission is made which includes;
- That the person seeking the report is doing so in the prevention, detection or investigation of money laundering or terrorist financing offences,
- They are seeking access to the information in pursuit of those aims,
- This does not need to be related to legal proceedings or live administration against the entity
- The submission is connected with persons convicted (whether in the State or elsewhere) of an offence consisting of money laundering or terrorist financing or holds assets in a high-risk third country.
If you require assistance or advice, please contact our Company Secretarial team on 053 91 000 00 or email [email protected]
The contents of this article are meant as a guide only and are not a substitute for professional advice. The authors accept no responsibility for any action taken, or refrained from, as a result of the material contained in this document. Specific advice should be obtained before acting or refraining from acting, in connection with the matters dealt with in this article.