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1. REVIEW OF THE UK REGISTER OF COMPANIES Helen Thewlis Head of Policy and Planning, Companies House, UK.

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Presentation on theme: "1. REVIEW OF THE UK REGISTER OF COMPANIES Helen Thewlis Head of Policy and Planning, Companies House, UK."— Presentation transcript:

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2 REVIEW OF THE UK REGISTER OF COMPANIES Helen Thewlis Head of Policy and Planning, Companies House, UK

3 This presentation Purpose of the review UK Register Findings Emerging ideas Conclusions

4 Purpose of the Review Considering the register : –users point of view –rationale and value it adds to the UK economy –whether it could be operated differently –potential to reduce burden on business

5 2,630,383 companies 590,114,598 online search page hits 340m Images of documents 6m downloaded documents by numbers 8,700,887 docs filed last year 35km shelves of paper documents

6 Findings – what surprised us Breadth of the register searched Kinds of search Personal interest aspect Link to press and media Types of company searched

7 Findings 185m hits on free information pages last year 450k free searches a day 86% of searches are for free information 13.5m paid searches 15% of companies accessed on a given day 22% accessed over a 2 day period

8 Worldwide Website Visitors Ireland France India Netherlands Spain Australia China Other

9 Most useful free information Type of information% rate very useful Basic Company Details 80% History of Transactions 65% Officer Names Index 51% Insolvency Details 36% Mortgage charge index 36% Company Names Index 28% Disqualified Directors 28%

10 Types of entity searched for free Type% searchedProportion searched in 2 day period Private Limited91.613% Public Limited1.767% LLPs1.413%

11 Age of information searched Recent information most searched –Less than 2 years 83% of Accounts 91% Annual Returns –Over 2 years less frequent, but still significant up to 15 years old older information used for forensic & court cases

12 Why do people search? Public: –Inform buying decision - property, cars, repairs, entertainment, –Deal with consumer problems, disputes –Check companies in the news Business: –Make financial assessments –Check suppliers, directors –Checking dormant companies –Check their own information –Check disqualified directors

13 What information is paid for?

14 Feedback from Registers Use aligns with ours None had carried out similar work Not all could indicate proportion of the register searched Most searched - Officers, basic details, financial info One had reduced administrative burden

15 Problems with the information Most relate to what CH does: –Data entry error, wrong documents, duplicates Some about the information itself –3.5% of accounts dont add up –Concern about Dates of Birth Few complaints about fraud: –83 average per month out of 700k filings (0.01%)

16 Emerging Ideas More information wanted not less –Turnover –Number of employees –Qualified Accountants –Whether accounts are late filed –Contact details, Postcodes Name reservations Linking group companies together Better ways of searching

17 Conclusions 100% found it useful Rationale not really tested Hard to estimate value to the economy Wide & broad use – especially free info Too early to think about asking for less info We need to invest in deeper customer understanding Fraudulent activity relatively low

18 ECRF Have you completed similar work? Wed welcome comments and information from more registries Possibly include questions in benchmarking survey

19 Questions?

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