We will take steps to ensure transparency of the ownership and control of all companies involved in property purchase and public contracting.
Themes: Beneficial ownership
Last updated: December 2020
Concrete: Other | New: Other | Ambitious: Other
Tendances et analyse des risques de blanchiment de capitaux et de financement du terrorisme en 2018-2019, Tracfin
Of the 131st Congress of the National Council of Commercial Court Clerks, p.115, "[...] the completeness of the register of beneficial owners has greatly improved. It now includes nearly two-thirds of the entities concerned. "
Monetary and Financial Code : Section 9: The register of beneficial owners: Article L561-49
National analysis of the risks of money laundering and terrorist financing in France, Report of the Orientation Council for the fight against money laundering and the financing of terrorism (COLB), p.74
Annual Activities Report 2019, Tracfin, p.15
Obligation To File A Document Identifying The Beneficial Owner(S) Of French Companies
Companies involved in property purchase:
The AML National Analysis Risk conducted by the ‘Conseil d’orientation de la lutte contre le blanchiment de capitaux et le financement du terrorisme’ (“COLB”) in September 2019 qualified the AML risk in the real estate sector as being “moderated”. The risk of laundering funds resulting from corruption offences and embezzlement of public funds is, however, considered as being “high” for luxury real estate. In such schemes, real estate companies are used to hide the identity of the beneficial owner of a property. This risk is exacerbated by the fact that the transfers of SCI shares do not require notarial deed or countersigned by lawyers - both subjected to AML/FT obligations - and can thus escape these professionals' scrutiny .
In the 'biens mal acquis' proceedings, Tracfin, the French FIU, identifies the acquisition of real estate in wealthy districts of Paris via Real Estate Civil Societies (SCI) as being the main vehicle for laundering the proceeds predicate offences . There is a slight improvement: in its last annual report, Tracfin notes a small increase of legal persons, especially Real Estate Civil Societies (SCI) and trusts, in the banking sector's declarations of suspicious activities .
Companies involved in public contracting: Legal entities that do not comply with their reporting obligation risk, among other sanctions, exclusion from public contracting.
At the end of 2019, more than two years after its creation, the French register of beneficial owners included only two-thirds of the entities subjected to the reporting obligation . No public sources expose the nature of legal entities figure in the remaining one-third. It would, however, be interesting to know exactly the proportion of real estate companies compliant with their reporting obligation to refine the AML analysis risk in the real estate sector.
Peer reviewer: 1
Updated: October 31, 2020