§ Barbara Follett
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what further measures he proposes to take on disclosure of beneficial ownership of companies in attacking criminal finances. 
§ Ruth Kelly
In response to a recommendation in the report "Recovering the Proceeds of Crime", the Government are today publishing a Consultation Document on the findings of a Regulatory Impact Assessment. This assessment examines ways in which greater disclosure of beneficial ownership of companies could assist law enforcement in tackling serious organised crime and funding of terrorism. The assessment identifies a range of benefits and gauges the potential additional burdens on companies; it concludes that advantages could be derived from enhanced disclosure while imposing limited additional costs on industry. The Government wish to consider the proposals further and welcome responses to the Consultation Document from those with interests in this area.
Publication of the assessment marks the Government's continuing determination that the UK should remain at the forefront of the international fight against organised crime and terrorist funding. At the same time, the Government wish to ensure that UK companies are not subject to disproportionate new burdens and will carefully consider the impact of potential changes in the field of company law.
Copies of the Consultation Document and Regulatory Impact Assessment have been placed in the Library of the House.