Sunday 8 September 2019 3:16 pm

Accuracy of Companies House data questioned by reporting firm

An organisation that produces reports into the health and credit-worthiness of small firms has cautioned that there is no guarantee that the Companies House data it uses is accurate.

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Company Watch, a City-based provider of company assessments, has added a disclaimer to its reports notes that Companies House “does not verify the accuracy of information that is submitted to it,” according to the Sunday Times.

It comes amid renewed focus on the laws around registering companies in Britain, which critics is open to criminal misuse.

The government in May responded to long-standing concerns by launching a consultation on changes to the Companies House system, including giving the register more powers to look in to companies’ arrangements.

“At the moment, we accept information to the register without checking that people are who they say they are,” Louise Smyth, chief executive of Companies House, said in June.

“In the vast majority of cases, this does not cause any problems. But there are instances where criminals claim to be directors of UK companies and file false information on the register.”

Companies House currently lacks the power to query, amend or remove information on its register except for under very specific circumstances.

Concerns have been raised about the accuracy of Companies House data. Misspelling of names, for example, can mean directors are listed multiple times. There are also millions of records listed which pertain to dissolved companies.

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The proposed changes would give Companies House more powers to investigate the companies on its list and verify the identity of directors.