Ministers are due to launch a consultation into a new law that would prohibit entities in offshore tax havens from owning property in the UK anonymously.
Companies would have to disclose the name of the true owner or the Government would have the power to recover the property.
It is estimated that around £120 billion worth of UK property is owned by offshore entities, a lot of it paid for by laundered money.
Transparency International believes that about 36,000 properties, both residential and commercial, in London are owned by offshore corporate entities.
The organisation is calling for the new law to be applied to backdated as well as new property purchases.
Last summer, the Government revealed that it would be consulting on new laws to combat money laundering.
In May, the UK is set to host a global anti-corruption summit.
The Head of Advocacy at Transparency International, Nick Maxwell, insists: “If the Prime Minister is going to be credible at the international anti-corruption conference in London, then the UK needs to clean up its own backyard and end secrecy and money laundering through UK property.”1
Neither The National Association of Estate Agents (NAEA) nor the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) has released an update on their own investigations into money laundering.
Last year, both bodies began examining the issue after it was highlighted in a Channel 4 programme, which showed a London agent supposedly helping a Russian buyer. Read more here: https://landlordnews.co.uk/dirty-money-flooding-the-property-market-says-financial-times/