The fourth anti-money laundering directive (AMLD) will for the first time oblige EU member states to maintain central registers listing information on the ultimate beneficial owners of corporate and other legal entities, including trusts. These central registers were not envisaged in the European Commission’s initial proposal, but were included by MEPs during the negotiations. The aim is to enhance transparency and fight money laundering and tax crime.
The central registers would be accessible to the competent authorities and their financial intelligence units (without any restriction), to "obliged entities" (such as banks conducting their "customer due diligence" duties), and also to the public, whose access may be subject to online registration of the person and to the payment of a fee to cover administrative costs.
The AMLD has been published in the Official Journal of the European Union and came into force in June 26, 2015. Member States have until June 26, 2017, to implement the AMLD into national law.