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Measures to Ensure Data Quality

 Learn more about the scope of the measures taken.

For the Register of Beneficial Owners to make a contribution to the prevention of money laundering and terrorist financing, quality of its data must be at a high level. Due to the provisions of the 4th Money Laundering Directive, the Register cannot be provided with protection of legitimate expectations comparable to the Commercial Register. However, measures have been taken to enable the identification and verification of beneficial owners pursuant to Article 11 BORA based on extended excerpts. The following measures have been taken: 

  • The use of innovative, do-it-yourself reporting forms, which largely prevent incomplete reports through embedded rules.
  • When beneficial owners with their principal place of residence in Austria are reported, a comparison is made with the Central Residence Register, so that only natural persons who actually exist are reported to the Register. For these persons, it is sufficient to report the first and last names and the birth date. A so-called sector-specific personal indicator (bPK) is generated.
  • For all persons who are stored in the Register with a bPK, there is a continuous comparison with Central Residence Register to automatically import name changes, changes of residence and any deaths into the Register.
  • Persons with no reported principal place of residence must upload a copy of an official photo ID to make it more difficult for non-existent persons to be reported as beneficial owners.
  • Data about the beneficial owners of legal entities that are exempt from reporting is continuously compared with the Commercial Register, Register of Associations and Supplementary Register, and any changes are automatically imported.
  • The data in reports regarding ultimate legal entities, which have their registered offices in Austria, is imported from the Commercial Register, Register of Associations and Supplementary Register and is continuously kept up to date.
  • Obliged entities can send a remark to the Register if they are aware of an incorrect entry. The remark appears in excerpts from the Register – without identifying the obliged entity – and thereafter it is no longer possible to check the identities of the beneficial owners based on the extended excerpt from the Register. In addition, the legal entity is informed of the remark – without identifying the obliged entity – and asked to check the data and make a new report.
  • A high reporting rate will be achieved by automated warnings and impositions of penalties.
  • The registry authority conducts analyses to ensure the accuracy and completeness of the data and can request that legal entities submit relevant documents and other written records to review the reported data. The registry authority can identify the beneficial owners based on the documents submitted and, if there are deviations, make an official report of the beneficial owners.

Moreover, violations of the reporting requirement are punished as financial offences, and fines of up to EUR 200,000 may be imposed for intentional acts and fines of up to EUR 100,000 for gross negligence.