Business secretary reveals government is considering action against individuals named in the Guardian/ICIJ reporting project
Business secretary Vince Cable has pledged to take action against sham directors and hidden ownership of property in the wake of the Guardian’s Offshore Secrets series.
Cable reveals that the government is investigating and considering action against individuals named in the Guardian/ICIJ reporting project, as well as those in the accompanying BBC Panorama documentary, and that he is also contemplating wider reforms.
“We are currently investigating the allegations against the individuals and companies made by the Guardian and Panorama, and where there is a strong legal case we will take action,” he writes. “We are also reviewing our legal and enforcement priorities to ensure that we are focussing our resources to deal with the most serious abuses.”
Writing in the Guardian, Cable proposes increasing transparency on offshore property ownership. Under present arrangements, purchasing UK property through offshore companies can be used to prevent a property’s true owner being available on the official Land Registry entries.
“Concerns have been raised about the potential abuse of hidden ownership arrangements and I am attracted to the idea of increasing transparency to prevent the concealment of corporate control.
“Where there is flagrant abuse of corporate entities we must and will seek to tackle it.”