Debates between Lord Faulks and Lord Naseby during the 2019 Parliament

Economic Crime and Corporate Transparency Bill

Debate between Lord Faulks and Lord Naseby
Lord Faulks Portrait Lord Faulks (Non-Afl)
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The noble Lord has anticipated the point that I wanted to make, but I will make it very briefly. I am puzzled why we are so keen to protect anonymity. What is the respectable argument in favour of anonymity? Can the Minister help us with that? A solicitor, for example, will append their name to a document, identifying litigation or other contexts, and many other professionals have similar obligations. Why are we affording these particular people some special allowance? It simply does not make sense.

As the noble and learned Lord, Lord Garnier, said, for some time, those of us involved in the register of overseas entities were anxious that there should be improved verification. I gather that there has been some movement in that direction. I ask the Minister to consider having regard to the weight of opinion that there should be a similar movement in this area.

Lord Naseby Portrait Lord Naseby (Con)
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My Lords, I will be very brief. First, having chaired three public companies, I totally agree with my noble friend Lord Agnew’s Amendments 49 and 51, with the exception of subsection (1) of the proposed new clause in Amendment 51. I wonder about it being every three years; that basically means once a Parliament, and I wonder whether every two years would be more appropriate.

Secondly, I ask my noble friend: is there a difference between “foreign” and “worldwide”? Are they coterminous, or not? That is important.

Finally, proposed new paragraph (d) in Amendment 50A says that any authorised corporate service provider registering companies must

“disclose promptly on request from the registrar, or other relevant authorities including local authorities”.

Anyone who has been in local government or the chair of a major committee would like that to be a little more specific; otherwise, it opens the door to arbitration and legal matters as to whether the person making the representations is “relevant”.