London should be quite safe because she has James Bond who is on her Majesty’s service. Ok, that’s just in the movies. In reality, London properties may be an avenue for lots of unaccountable money from around the world. This is as per a report by Transparency International which has also published lots of reports about Malaysia too. It said that British property is owned by lots of secretive companies which are registered in offshore secrecy havens such as British Virgin Islands, Jersey and Isle of Man. The number is huge. It said that a total of 36,342 has such profile. One of the worst? Well in the district of Westminster, almost one in ten are such questionable ones.
Now comes the most important point. It said that this may have been the cause why property prices have been on an uptrend. This is very troubling for the current government because of Britain’s upcoming election in May. In fact in London, the people have been complaining about the lack of affordable properties for some time due to the record prices thus far. Read here: Londoners, homeless. Malaysian caused? Transparency International is urging the government to make the Land Registry to require transparency over the owners of these companies. This will ensure Britain not become a ““the destination of choice for global corruption”. Recently, some reports have been published about how a top British bank HSBC helped their wealthy clients evade tax.
Personally, I think this does not happen only in London. It happens in any international property market which is open enough for foreigners to buy. Should these countries say no then? If I have a property which a foreigner would like to buy from me, it is very unlikely for me to engage any private investigator to investigate my buyer. So, the answer is clear, even if many would say they do not like these buyers but would you know? More importantly, why should YOU be the one investigating the buyer of your home? Assuming a buyer wants to buy your home at a premium giving you huge profits and the government says no, what would be your reaction? Happy deciding.
written on 5 March 2015
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