1,000 signatures reached
To: Eric Pickles MP (Anti-Corruption Champion)
END CORRUPT MONEY IN UK PROPERTY
The UK Government should establish transparency over who owns the companies that own so much property in the UK. Before completing a purchase on a property, overseas companies should be required to submit to Land Registry the same details that UK registered companies must submit to Companies House.
Why is this important?
When the world's most corrupt individuals and groups want to hide their stolen wealth, the UK can too often be where the money ends up. $946.7 billion was stolen from developing countries in 2011 alone, and countries like the UK can enable this injustice by offering the corrupt and their money a safe place to hide. One such place is our property market.
We think it's likely that corrupt money in the UK contributes to a number of worrying trends at home, including raising average house prices, prioritising of luxury housing by developers and growth of 'ghost communities' of unoccupied houses. Public money intended for schools and hospitals overseas does not belong in a Mayfair mansion - and as the UK faces a housing crisis, the public deserve to know who really owns Britain.
Foreign investment in the UK is not a bad thing, but anti-money laundering checks are being bypassed and there is growing evidence to suggest the UK property market is making a house a home for corrupt funds stolen from around the world. We are calling for the UK Government to establish transparency over who owns the companies that own property in the UK, to avoid the risk that our valuable homes are being bought by the world's most corrupt.
The UK's facilitation of global corruption must end. Together, we can unmask the corrupt.
Prime Minister David Cameron has said that the government will commit to:
- Publishing Land Registry data this Autumn on which foreign companies own which land and property title in England and Wales
- Consulting on ways to make property ownership by foreign companies much more transparent.
- Examining whether there is a case for insisting that any non-UK company wishing to bid on a contract with the UK government should also publicly state who really owns it.
We welcome the commitment, and we will continue to show our support for a Land Registry requirement that holds foreign companies intending to hold property in the UK to the same standards of transparency as UK-registered companies.