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19 September, 2019

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MP’s details used fraudulently in business listing

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The government department in charge of Companies House is coming under increasing pressure from a local MP to change how it validates its listings, after her details were fraudulently used.

Tatton MP Esther McVey has now been removed as the secretary of ‘Loyal Scots Company Limited’ (a company she has never had any involvement in) and the matter is being investigated by police.

But, Ms McVey believes more needs to be done to protect people and regulate how companies are listed.

She said: “For £14 you can register a company but is seems there is a lack of checks on the veracity of what is being submitted.

“It is all well having a register but it seems there is no compliance activity so what confidence can the public have in what appears on the register?”

Ms McVey added: “My details have been removed and the matter is being investigated but I am not the only person this has happened to and there seems to be no protection for people.

“Being able to list a company without any checks surely can lead to many cases of fraud or bigger online fraud?

“We need checks to be made and a not just electronic check as clearly whatever email address Loyal Scots listed for me was not my email address.”

Ms McVey has submitted a series of parliamentary written questions to the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy to ask why no checks are carried out.

She has also asked if there are plans to overhaul the system and has written to the business secretary, Greg Clark, suggesting necessary changes.

These, Ms McVey suggests, could include demanding a phone number for all people listed – which could act as a fraud deterrent as there would be a chance that spot checks could be carried out.

Ms McVey added: “I look forward to getting the responses back from BEIS as the status quo is not acceptable.

“I also know that a Freedom of Information request was submitted to Companies House asking how many cases of fraud they have had in the last few years following my name being listed.

“The response was that they did not class it as fraud, which is not only extraordinary but extremely concerning.

“This issue is all part of ensuring proper oversight of the web and online activity.”

A spokesperson for Companies House said: “Companies House takes action when information on the register is found to be incorrect, inaccurate or fraudulent.

“Where a company officer has been appointed without their consent, we have a robust process in place to remove them.”

 

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