Banks on High Alert as ‘Rogue’ Companies House Filings Surface

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Britain’s major banks have been placed on high alert following the discovery of hundreds of ‘rogue’ filings apparently lodged at Companies House, the UK’s central corporate register.

A note issued by UK Finance, the banking trade association, has cautioned its members about approximately 800 forms pertaining to the discharge of financial liabilities, which were submitted to Companies House towards the end of last month.

The notice, marked as “Urgent” upon circulation last week, informed banks that UK Finance had notified both Companies House and the Department for Business and Trade about the matter.

Although the circumstances surrounding the filings remained unclear as of Sunday, industry executives have raised concerns about potential fraud or hacking of the Companies House register.

UK Finance, in its memo, highlighted that several members and law firms had raised concerns about “apparently erroneous satisfaction of security (registered charges) on Companies House” concerning numerous live business clients.

In a subsequent update issued on Friday, it was revealed that approximately 800 rogue filings related to 190 companies had been identified. UK Finance emphasized that despite incorrect entries in the register stating that charges had been satisfied, such charges remained valid and enforceable.

Companies House has acknowledged the issue.

One source described the situation as “deeply alarming” and expressed disappointment that Companies House was planning to raise its fees in May despite vulnerabilities to rogue corporate filings.

In response to an inquiry from Sky News, a Companies House spokesperson stated, “We are aware of this matter and we are looking into it.”

UK Finance declined to provide further comments on the issue.