Plans have been announced for a register showing the beneficial owners of UK property when the legal owners are overseas companies.
At the anti-corruption summit in London last week David Cameron said,
"corrupt individuals and countries will no longer be able to move, launder and hide illicit funds through London’s property market”
But there are several reasons why someone would want to arrange their affairs in this way and whilst there are undoubtedly some who might think again if they were to appear on a public register, not all are corrupt.There can be sensitive situations where individuals may need to protect their privacy and not want details of their residential address easily accessible.
The actress Emma Watson was 'exposed' in the Panama Papers as having bought her home in London in the name of a BVI company. Her explanation (which she gave even though there was no requirement for her to do so) was this this was to preserve her privacy from stalkers. Perhaps she should just have protected it with a Fidelius Charm as Hermione Granger would have done.