‘Secret Companies’ Own £100bn Of UK Property

Anonymous companies registered in tax havens own 87,000 properties in England and Wales worth £100bn – according to research by campaigning organisation Global Witness.

Global Witness say that 40% of the anonymously owned properties identified are in London with 10,000 in Westminster, 5,729 in Kensington and Chelsea, 2,320 in Camden and 1,930 in Tower Hamlets. It adds that 134 alone are in Cadogan Square, Knightsbridge and £350m of property in Buckingham Palace Road is owned this way.

The research, analysing Land Registry data, says these properties were ostensibly purchased for just £56bn, but once missing price data and inflation is taken into account their value could exceed £100bn.

Global Witness published its research as part of the evidence it is presenting to a parliamentary committee reviewing a draft law to force overseas companies to disclose their beneficial ownership.

Global Witness describes itself as an independent, not for profit organisation whose aims are to expose corruption and push for change to end it – it is important to recognise it is not an impartial statistical organisation. However, their research into the value of UK property owned this way is likely to shock many: While some will feel it is much more than they anticipated, others will feel it is much less.

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Source Global Witness
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