Disqualified directors ‘abusing Companies House data’

Research has identified loopholes at Companies House that enables individuals to register as a director, run businesses and enable fraud and money laundering, even after they have been struck-off from holding company directorships.

Research into Companies House data conducted by HooYu showed that of the 6,700 currently disqualified directors, there are over 800 that still appear to have an active directorship. The analysis also uncovered over 500 so-called ‘chameleon’ directors who have been disqualified as a director, then subsequently made changes to their name or date of birth in order to register a ‘clean’ directorship.

The criminals, have been uncovered using graph theory and data visualisation technology in the HooYu Investigate platform to find disqualified directors who illicitly hold an active directorship. This is despite the fact that these ‘chameleon fraudsters’ obfuscate their new directorships by subtly altering their date of birth, or the spelling of their name, in an attempt to avoid detection.

The current registration processes undertaken by Companies House are enabling criminals to evade detection and contributing to the estimated £96 billion of fraud and money laundering that takes place each year in the UK, according to HooYu.

Richard Osborne, founder of the lobbying group Robust, explained that he formed the group last year to raise awareness of how criminals are abusing Companies House data. “Our YouGov survey revealed that 84 per cent of business leaders would want to see more robust identity checking procedures carried out by Companies House.

“This data analysis reveals the level of abuse of records at Companies House and underlines our call for the government to act,” he added.

    Share Story:

Recent Stories

New Business Frontiers
FStech’s Mark Evans discusses the future of financial services with Liu Jianning of Huawei, covering the limitations that current thinking can impose, how financial institutions can embrace technology to be both agile and resilient, and making space for the organisation to focus on the job of creating innovative business models and on delivering business value for their customers.

The Future of Intelligent Finance
FStech Group Editor Mark Evans sits down with Jason Cao, President of Global Financial Services Business Unit, Enterprise BG at Huawei ahead of its Intelligent Finance Summit which was held on 3rd and 4th of June in Shanghai. This Q&A delves into key trends in digital transformation of the financial services industry as well as a look at how data, robotic infrastructure, intelligent storage and innovative technologies are shaping the future for FSIs.

Cracking down on fraud
In this webinar a panel of expert speakers explored the ways in which high-volume PSPs and FinTechs are preventing fraud while providing a seamless customer experience.