Corruption in Spain and offshore companies in the UK

Spain features “clear signs” of corruption risk – warns NGO Transparency International. The country’s score worsened for the second year in a row. This time, Spain ranked 35th out of 180 countries (2022 data), with 60 scores out of 100, along with Botswana, Cape Verde and Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, and remains 14th out of 27 EU member states. Transparency International points out that a difference of one score from one year to the next is not statistically significant, but the decline for the second year in a row is “a clear indication of the risk and danger of further decline” and may indicate that there are still hidden factors in Spain that affect the functioning of democratic institutions and thus increase the risk of corruption.

Nearly 13,000 offshore companies with UK property have failed to report their owners and could face fines and a ban on selling their land. Business Minister Martin Callanan praised the introduction of the new register of overseas property owners as “invaluable to tax and treasury services as it provides transparency for overseas companies”. He added that only 19,510 of the 32,440 registered overseas organisations had declared their actual beneficiaries, and around 40%, or almost 13,000, had not done so. Now Companies House (an executive agency of the UK government) and the Insolvency Service (an executive agency of the Department for Business, Energy and Strategy) will have greater powers and funding of up to £20 million to tackle money laundering through companies that own UK property.

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