LABOUR has called for Britain’s companies watchdog to get “teeth” after The Herald revealed just six civil servants were responsible for policing the filings of nearly four million firms.

Corporate transparency campaigners have long warned the UK was a soft touch for gangsters and tax evaders because Companies House, the national registry of businesses, lacks the resources to check corporate filings.

Business groups also fear British firms may not be able to reply on official information posted at the registry, which is one of the biggest in the world.

Read more: UK branded 'soft touch' as figures reveal just 6 staff police filing for millions of firms

Now Labour MSP Jackie Baillie has demanded civil servants at Companies House are beefed up to check details.

She said: “Companies House is an important resource for business and for the public. It is therefore vital it has the teeth necessary to do the job.

“It is essential the public has confidence in the system and that the right resources are available to Companies House so they can get on with the job.”

Ms Baillie was one of the first politicians to highlight concerns that Scottish firms called limited partnerships or SLPs were being abused by international crime groups.

The Herald last year revealed some SLPs, which do not need to file accounts, had been set up by firms at false addresses in traditional tax havens.

Read more: UK branded 'soft touch' as figures reveal just 6 staff police filing for millions of firms

The revelations that just six workers checked such details came from answers to questions posed by Scottish Nationalist MP Roger Mullin, who is leading a campaign in the House of Commons for the reform of SLPs.

In a series of parliamentary answers to Mr Mullin, the UK Government also admitted none of the many thousands of foreign directors at British companies had been disqualified for having criminal convictions and that no fines had been issued for making false statements since January 2015.

Mr Mullin said: “Little wonder then there has been such easy abuse from tax dodgers to international criminals. I am going to be pursuing this in committee and the floor of the house in the coming week.

“That Companies House is lacking in staff and expertise to properly police matters is a matter requiring urgent attention.”

Companies House is far more transparent than many similar organisations around the world and allows open access to its filings. Its workers do not pretend they can check submissions from all the corporate entities making filings. However, the body insisted it does follow up on complaints from the public.

Read more: UK branded 'soft touch' as figures reveal just 6 staff police filing for millions of firms

A spokeswoman said: “Companies House has amongst the highest rates of compliance with company filing requirements in the world.

“We follow up on all complaints that company information is incorrect or incomplete and in the vast majority of cases, where there appears to be a breach of the Companies Act, companies correct their information straight away.”