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EU takes action against secret companies

In an important win against impunity for corruption, the European Union reached agreement on Tuesday to create national registries that name the true owners of companies and trusts.

If the agreement is passed by the European Parliament next year, as seems likely, it will mean the end of secret companies in 28 European countries. There’s a catch, though.

The agreement states that these central registries will only be accessible by people or organisations with a “legitimate interest.” We think everyone has a legitimate interest to know who owns, controls or benefits from companies.