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Are more robust Companies House checks needed?

17 May 2019

Fake data entries in Companies House means that accountancy firms could be working for disqualified individuals – fraudsters, OCGs and terrorist financiers – without knowing, says new research by HooYu.

Analysis by the fraud investigation technology provider shows that over a thousand disqualified directors are taking advantage of simple loopholes in Companies House to remain ‘active’.

Fooling the system is, it appears, reality simply. All that ‘chameleon fraudsters’ need to do is to subtly alter their date of birth or the spelling of their name and they can continue as before.

With Companies House being a key part of AML checks this leaves the whole system open to abuse, said HooYou. It revealed that of the current 6,700 currently disqualified directors over 1,000 (1 in 8) still appear to have an active directorship. The research also uncovered 500 directors who have been disqualified as a director but have change small details in order to register a ‘clean’ directorship.

HooYu is now calling for better funding of Companies House and more robust identity checking procedures.

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