Anti-Money Laundering

Chasing UBOs with the Open Ownership Register: 9.7M beneficial owners and 8.8M companies in OpenScreening

February 27, 2023

We’re proud to announce Open Ownership Register data is available via OpenScreening. This means an extra 9.7M beneficial owners and 8.8M companies from data sources such as the UK Persons with Significant Control Register now readily available for the investigation of ultimate beneficial owners (UBOs).

Introducing the Open Ownership Register

The US Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) considers that US sanctions targeting a designated person or company apply not just to the entity itself, but also to all companies majority-owned or controlled by that entity. This rule, known as the “shadow OFAC” provision, has irrevocably married sanctions screening and beneficial ownership analysis.

The combination of data about beneficial owners from Open Ownership and information about sanctioned individuals and entities from OpenSanctions make it easier to identify the risky entities around sanctioned individuals.

Open Ownership has worked with almost 40 countries since 2017 to advance implementation of beneficial ownership reforms, as well as supporting the creation of over 15 new central and sectoral registers. They share advice on how to improve the quality and usefulness of beneficial ownership data. The organization also maintains the Beneficial Ownership Data Standard, the world's leading open standard for collecting, sharing and using high-quality data on beneficial ownership.

To best demonstrate the value of high-quality structured data which can be combined across jurisdictions to follow ownership chains wherever they lead, they developed the Open Ownership Register. This transnational register maps beneficial ownership data from four national beneficial ownership registers to their data standard and combines it into a single dataset.

The Open Ownership Register contains data on 24M relationships between 9.7M beneficial owners and 8.8M companies. The latest data is drawn from the UK Persons with Significant Control Register, Denmark's Central Business Register and Slovakia's Public Sector Partners Register on a monthly basis.

Other additions to the OpenScreening data

OpenScreening also integrates the newest version of OpenSanctions. It includes improved coverage of subsidiaries and associated persons of Russian sanctioned companies, and coverage of the Russian securities market via the National Settlement Directory. These datasets are important for anyone interested in managing risks associated with Russian sanctions.

A graph visualization in Linkurious Enterprise of Russian sanctioned entities
Visualizing the networks of sanctioned Russian entities in OpenScreening

In addition to new data about Russian entities, OpenSanctions now includes new crime-related lists, including the FBI, Europol, INTERPOL and the UK NCA.

Data about sanctions for New Zealand, Bulgaria and Azerbaijan are also included in the new version of OpenSanctions.

What’s next

OpenScreening users will benefit from the regular updates of the Open Ownership Register and OpenSanctions. For example, Open Ownership is currently working to integrate the UK Register of Overseas Entities and the French and Nigerian beneficial ownership registries.

The bigger picture is that we’re seeing the emergence of an open ecosystem of inter-connected datasets providing more transparency around companies, directors, beneficiary owners, sanctions and more. This is great news for compliance professionals and journalists throughout the world who can get access to more information to uncover risks of corruption, money laundering or sanctions evasion.

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