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Treasury Nears Rule to Force Banks to ID Shell Company Owners

  • Customer Due Diligence rule would close anonymity loophole
  • The maneuver is in the spotlight after leak of law firm files

The U.S. Treasury Department is close to issuing a final rule that would require banks, brokers and mutual funds to identify the owners hidden behind shell companies, a Treasury official said.

The use of shell companies to conceal assets drew renewed attention this week after a group of news organizations used a leak of millions of documents from a Panama law firm to report on how some of the world’s wealthiest people, including politicians and business figures, had channeled billions of dollars into offshore accounts.