Proposed changes to Companies House are sparking discussions across the legal and political landscape of the UK, provoking strong reactions from professionals who value information contained in the agency’s registers.
At the beginning of August, Companies House announced that it was reviewing the length of time in which a company or director’s information is held. The proposed change, to reduce the date at which records are deleted from 20 years to six, came in light of increasing pressure from businesses and politicians.
The proposal has been met with widespread criticism, not least by campaigners for greater corporate ownership transparency – a hot topic in light of the Panama Papers and the bankruptcy of high street chain BHS. In their defence, Companies House have argued that the change will bring it more in line with data privacy laws and the ‘right to be forgotten’, a ruling which allows individuals to request their personal information to be deleted.
Now, R3 – the association of business recovery professionals – have stepped in, writing an open letter to The Times to argue the damage such a ruling could do to the efficacy of the insolvency profession and fraud investigators.
Read the letter below:
Rescue, Recovery, Renewal - R3: The voice of business recovery. Our experts have helped thousands of businesses and individuals get financial help. Over the years we've helped turn around thousands of businesses.
The new ruling has far reaching consequences, and, as Companies House suggest, centres around a broader debate on data privacy in light of an increasingly interconnected world where our data is held by a larger number of organisations than ever before.
The potential impact on insolvency, KYC, AML, anti-fraud and many other practices central to our clients is huge. Access to Companies House extensive records is a central part of their investigations, and while the six year period will cover the majority of the matters under consideration, there will always be times when access to an older set of data will prove crucial.
We are currently conducting a survey to gather industry opinions on the proposed ruling, the challenges it will create and what action can be taken. If you’d like to take part in the survey, please click below:
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