London Property: A Top Destination for Money Launderers
Our new publication focusing on corrupt wealth in London property.
Using multiple data sources, this report finds that there is no data available on the real owners of more than half of the 44,022 land titles owned by overseas companies in London whilst nine out of ten of these properties were bought via secrecy jurisdictions, such as those named in the Panama Papers.
This lack of data means it is extremely difficult to ascertain any links between these companies and any individuals with political influence (Politically Exposed Persons, or PEPs), who Transparency International believe cause the greatest corruption risk. Research found 986 land titles owned by PEP related companies, although the true number could be much higher. More than three quarters of these companies are registered through either Panama or the British Virgin Islands.
Key statistics in the research include:
- 44,022 London land titles are owned by overseas companies
- 91 percent of overseas companies owning London property through secrecy jurisdictions
- Over 75 percent land titles identified as linked to PEPS are owned by companies based in Panama or the British Virgin Islands
- Only 54 percent of companies in the Land Registry could be matched to a company record through the datasets used
- 986 land titles found to have links to PEPs
- 52 percent of land titles owned by anonymous companies in London were in the City of Westminster (31 percent), Kensington and Chelsea (16 percent) and Camden (5 percent).
This report was conducted in conjection with Thomson Reuters and will be presented at the Open Government Partnership Conference in Paris on Tuesday 6th December.
See below for charts about corrupt wealth in London property contained in the report.
- Report published: Dec 2016