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EU Panama Papers response: Amazing progress means Commission is almost within reach of full transparency

BRUSSELS, 5 JULY 2016. Today, the European Commission presented some key amendments to the 4th EU Anti-Money Laundering Directive (AMLD), originally issued in May 2015. These amendments, pressured by the Panama Papers scandal, aim to bring more transparency on who really owns companies and trusts.

Tamira Gunzburg, Brussels Director at the ONE Campaign, said:

“Today, the European Commission has made a huge step towards making public who really owns companies and trusts – it is very nearly there. Public disclosure will allow citizens in poor countries to ensure anonymous shell companies are not used to launder away much-needed funds for development. Indeed, a trillion dollars per year is currently lost to developing countries due to shady deals including money laundering.

In spite of this ground-breaking progress, the Commission has left in a dangerous loophole: only commercial trusts would have to reveal their so-called ‘beneficial owners’ to the public. All other trusts could keep them secret to all but those who can prove a ‘legitimate interest’. Not only are some of these other trusts already being used for money laundering, exempting them from disclosure risks making them even more attractive to those wishing to hide the proceeds of corruption or terrorist financing.

We are counting on the EU Member States and the European Parliament to remove the last shade of grey in this key directive and make the registers for the beneficial owners of both companies and trusts fully public.”



Notes to editors:

Contact, information & interviews – Andrea Ghianda // [email protected] // +32 (0)471 89 64 22

European Commission – Press release

ABOUT ONE: ONE is a campaigning and advocacy organisation of nearly 7 million people taking action to end extreme poverty and preventable disease, particularly in Africa. Not politically partisan, we raise public awareness and press political leaders to combat AIDS and preventable diseases, increase investments in agriculture and nutrition, and demand greater transparency in poverty-fighting programmes. Read more at www.one.org.