ICAEW supports increased Companies House powers to block firm address abuse

Released 18 August 2021

The Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW) backs calls for a boost to the powers of Companies House to quickly correct any false business registrations at a professional firm’s address, amid a government consultation on powers to soon be published.

Under current rules, Companies House has limited powers to reject or amend the information submitted to them. However, experts warn that the absence of checks by Companies House coupled with limited powers of amendment opens the system to abuse.

The ICAEW’s Economic Crime Sub-committee strongly supports the proposal to extend the Register’s powers so that, for example, errors or deliberate misuse of addresses can be more easily corrected.

Beefing up Companies House powers would help to address growing concerns that the limited information provided by micro-entity accounts is being used by criminals to conduct economic crime. At the same time, there is a growing imperative to improve the quality and value of the financial information submitted to Companies House.

In 2019, register data was accessed 9.4bn times, government says, and research suggests it is currently worth up to £3bn per year to users.

Further details can be found at https://www.icaew.com/insights/viewpoints-on-the-news/2021/aug-2021/ICAEW-supports-CH-powers-extension-to-block-firm-address-abuse.

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