Fifth Money Laundering Directive and Trust Registration Service technical consultation – Law Society response

In April 2019, the government sought views on transposing the Fifth Money Laundering Directive into national law.

Read our response to the original consultation

The government then issued regulations that came into force on 10 January 2020 relating to most aspects of transposition. The regulations did not cover trust registration.

The proposals

The government launched a technical consultation on trust registration on 24 January 2020.

The consultation includes draft legislation and proposals on:

  • the types of express trusts that will be required to register
  • data collection
  • penalties

Our view

The legal profession has a strong interest in a successful, effective and proportionate anti-money laundering regime.

However, we're concerned that the current proposals will require enormous numbers of low risk trusts to be registered.

We urge the government to transpose the directive in a way which proportionate to the UK context, where trusts arise in many different types of ordinary arrangements.

What this means for solicitors

Solicitors who advise on a wide range of transactions in both commercial and private contexts will need to consider the potential registration consequences of the broadening scope of the trust registration service.

Next steps

The consultation closed on 21 February 2020.

The new rules are expected to come into effect from 10 March 2020, subject to the outcome of the consultation.

Read the consultation on the GOV.UK website