Changes to the Luxembourg bearer shares regime

Bill of law no. 6625, which will substantially change the legal regime applicable to bearer shares issued by a Luxembourg company, was adopted by the Luxembourg Parliament on 16 July 2014.

The bill was adopted in accordance with the Financial Action Task Force recommendations and in particular recommendation 24 dated 16 February 2012, which provides that ‘countries should take measures to prevent the misuse of legal persons for money laundering or terrorist financing. Countries should ensure that there is adequate, accurate and timely information on the beneficial ownership and control of legal persons that can be obtained or accessed in a timely fashion by competent authorities. In particular, countries that have legal persons that are able to issue bearer shares or bearer share warrants, or which allow nominee shareholders or nominee directors, should take effective measures to ensure that they are not misused for money laundering or terrorist financing. Countries should consider measures to facilitate access to beneficial ownership and control information by financial institutions and DNFBPs undertaking the requirements set out in recommendations 10 and 22’.

The aim of the bill is to implement measures ensuring the transparency of bearer shareholding in Luxembourg companies by way of a specific deposit requirement…

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