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darwin

Corruption On Your Doorstep - Almost 1 In 10 Properties In Westminster Registered Offshore

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Apologies if posted before but this is well worth a read - "Corruption On Your Doorstep - How Corrupt Capital Is Used To Buy Property In The UK", a report produced by Transparency International.

A lot of interesting stuff concerning Prime Central London (Westminster, Kensington & Chelsea and City of London), it lays out what is going on there, who's buying these high-end properties and why the UK is such a magnet.

40,725 London property titles are held by foreign companies. 89 per cent of these titles are held by companies incorporated in secrecy jurisdictions

Almost one in ten properties in the City of Westminster (9.3 per cent), 7.3 per cent of properties in Kensington & Chelsea and 4.5 per cent in the City of London are owned by a company registered in an offshore secrecy jurisdiction.

According to a 2013 Savills report, 90% of new-build luxury properties (valued at over £2,000 per square foot) were purchased by overseas buyers. Eastern European and Russian investors held the biggest share of these high-end residential properties, followed by Middle Eastern and North Africa (MENA) and Chinese buyers.

In April 2013, a Vanity Fair investigation by Nicholas Shaxson into One Hyde Park, which at the time was the world’s most expensive residential building, revealed the extent of ownership of the properties by companies incorporated in secrecy jurisdictions.

Out of the 76 properties that had been sold at the time of the investigation for a total value of US$2.7bn, almost 80% were bought through anonymous companies registered in tax havens. Only 12 of the properties were registered in the names of individuals.
One Hyde Park was created through a joint venture between high-end real estate developers the Candy brothers and Sheikh Hamad bin Jassim bin Jaber Al Thani, the Prime Minister of Qatar. The selling points of the property include advanced-technology panic rooms, bulletproof glass, and bowler-hatted guards reportedly trained by British Special Forces. Occupants’ mail is X-rayed before being delivered.
Many of the other owners of the properties were impossible to identify.

A distinct difference between properties held by individuals and those held through companies is that the former have, on average, a much lower value (about £800,000) than the latter (about £1.7m).

Edited by darwin

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Apologies if posted before but this is well worth a read - "Corruption On Your Doorstep - How Corrupt Capital Is Used To Buy Property In The UK", a report produced by Transparency International.

A lot of interesting stuff concerning Prime Central London (Westminster, Kensington & Chelsea and City of London), it lays out what is going on there, who's buying these high-end properties and why the UK is such a magnet.

...bound to happen ..many people in the businesses affected are too thick to understand money laundering or ignore it ...the regulators are paid for nothing...government is too busy ignoring all that matters ....and the VI property owners in London don't seek a market collapse ...it's called corruption anywhere else if this report is accurate ......but it does matter to people wishing to own their own home at an honest price...according to the report there is a problem .... :rolleyes:

Edited by South Lorne

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Corrupt by what definition?

There are quite a few countries around the world that would seek to seize assets from their population at the drop of a hat

I can understand people unlucky enough to be born in such a country seeking a route to hide assets from their own state

You only have to think back in relatively recent history in the USA to remember a time when much gold was confiscated from the population. I can see why people might want to avoid similar things. If an American at the time didn't declare her gold and kept it buried in the garden rather than forfeit it, was she corrupt?

Those companies that own UK properties are subject to SDLT and other property taxes. I don't really see an issue tbh.

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