Regulation of Beneficial Ownership in Latin America and the Caribbean

Knobel, Andrés
Nov 2017
The international community is increasingly aware that adopting laws, regulations, and mechanisms to gather and exchange information about “beneficial owners” (BOs) is crucial for combating tax evasion, money laundering, corruption, and the financing of terrorism. This paper explains the concept of beneficial owner, describes the standards in this area that countries should commit to, and presents the ratings achieved under the FATF and GF evaluations by each one of the 26 Inter-American Development Bank borrowing member countries regarding their beneficial ownership laws and regulations. Moreover, it analyzes the definitions of beneficial ownership currently in use in these 26 countries. In Latin America and the Caribbean, regulation in this area is very uneven. Although most countries have in place regulations defining the concept of beneficial ownership, thesedefinitions do not always comply with international standards. In general, all of the countries have room to improve their regulations and, especially, their compliance in practice.