Irena Braxator participates in the IR Global Guide – Getting to know the UBO & selecting the right advisor

Foreward by Andrew Chilvers

When the 5th Anti-Money Laundering Directive was introduced into law by the UK and EU in January 2020, for many professionals it was a much needed addition to legislation that would significantly help business transparency and combat money laundering. In essence, it was good for business and for public and professional confidence.

All jurisdictions signing up to the 5th Directive will build and maintain UBO registries that will be publicly available at any time. UBO registries will also be set up for bank accounts and trusts, although these latter two will not be publicly available but be accessed by the relevant authority such as financial intelligence units and legal advisors looking into money laundering. Investigative journalists who can show a legitimate interest in the case can also have access, which is vital if another Panama Papers (see below) is to be uncovered. Across the UK and EU national UBO registers will be set to connect through a central European platform by April 2021.

Please provide a brief overview of the UBO Register in your jurisdiction and its history?

The UBO registration was implemented by Law in early 2020 according to the international standards in order to comply with and becoming hence a cooperative country as for money laundering and terrorist financing.

How can your firm ensure your clients are fully compliant with the new / existing requirements?

Our firm has been providing corporate, fiduciary, legal and administrative services to our clients for15 years. Being a legal firm, we comply with all legal standards and make sure our clients are not getting into trouble or have penalties regarding deadlines or other conditions that need to be met.

What changes can we expect to see emerging, are any new proposals expected?

The UBO registration is not complicated. It is well known in other jurisdictions and therefore no surprises are expected. Panama’s government is following international standards and recommendations while protecting the privacy and confidentiality of all individuals and firms that have Panamanian entities within their business line.

What other information might be relevant?

It is relevant to mention that the Register reflects the current status of each Panamanian entity, only the current UBO is to be registered. As for fiduciary structures, such as for example Foundations of private Interest, the law counts with controlling persons to be registered.

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Contributing Advisors