Economic Crime and Corporate Transparency Bill: Personal information
This article forms part of a series looking at the measures to be introduced by the Economic Crime and Corporate Transparency Bill (“the Bill”), which intends to deliver a suite of wider-ranging reforms to tackle economic crime and improve transparency over corporate entities.
This article focusses on proposed changes to the powers of the Registrar of Companies (“the Registrar”) to prevent abuse of personal information on the Register.
What is proposed?
New measures are proposed to allow any individual whose personal information appears on the public register at Companies House to apply to have certain personal information suppressed from public disclosure. These measures will extend the current limited instances where individuals can apply to have information on the register suppressed from the public register.
What information will this apply to?
Individuals will be able to apply to have the following information suppressed from public disclosure:
- residential address in most instances where the address appears on the register (for example, when used as a registered office address);
- business occupation;
- day of date of birth for documents filed prior to 10 October 2015 (after this date only month and year of birth are shown on the public register);
- name (current or previous), or in the most serious cases, all required particulars (for example, service address and partial date of birth) in cases where evidence is provided that an individual is at serious risk of violence or intimidation; and
- sensitive addresses where evidence is provided that the residents are at serious risk of violence or intimidation (for example, a women’s refuge).
Access to suppressed information
Access to suppressed information is currently available to certain groups, such as law enforcement agencies and other public authorities and this will continue to be the case.
Routes will also be introduced which provide exceptions to the restrictions on the Registrar disclosing suppressed information. It is expected those provisions will allow:
- those with current or prospective legal proceedings to apply to Companies House for access to a suppressed address used as a registered office address, or a signature, if they can provide evidence of the legal proceedings; and
- other third parties to apply to the court for access to certain suppressed information if they can satisfy the court of their legitimate need to access this information.