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Scott: UK demands on beneficial ownership unreasonable

| 29/01/2015 | 1 Comment
CNS Business

Jude Scott, CEO Cayman Finance

(CNS):  The new CEO of Cayman Finance has stated that he welcomes the position that the Cayman Islands Government is taking on the publication of beneficial ownership details on companies and funds registered here. Jude Scott said that the demands from the UK, which is seeking an open public access register, go too far.

“The changes that were being insisted upon were unreasonable and went far beyond globally accepted practices which would only serve to create unfair and unnecessary disadvantage and damage for Cayman’s financial services industry,” Scott said recently.

“Cayman Finance supports the government’s statement and its position that, after due consideration, it has determined that no change is necessary to Cayman’s already effective beneficial ownership system. Cayman’s system has been in place for years and already fulfils the FATF recommendations on how a country can comply with the global availability of information standard,” he added.

Scott, who was recently appointed CEO of Cayman Finance, said government and the financial services industry recognize Cayman’s important role in the global financial market. He state that Cayman has consistently evolved and maintained its practices to meet robust, balanced and globally implemented standards for regulation and cross border cooperation that apply equally to G20 countries and all International Financial Centres.

The UK has plans to introduce a centralized and public register and has been keen to encourage its overseas territories and crown dependencies to do the same.

However, the CIG has said it believes its current regime is sufficiently robust to enable all the relevant authorities to access the information they need. The idea of a public register that would list exactly who profits from the myriad number of companies, trusts and funds domiciled in Cayman and allow anyone to see it is a step too far for the industry, which saw 80% reject the idea in a recent consultation.

Some have gone as far as to say that such a transparent measure would spell the end for Cayman’s lucrative offshore finance business.

While the UK seems to be accepting, for the time being, the position taken by Cayman and its other OTs, how much longer that will be the case remains to be seen. As the UK and other European countries move towards open public registers, the international standards may shift again in future and eventually force a more open regime worldwide.

However, Cayman should be able to keep a lid on beneficial ownership, regardless of what happens in Europe, until the United States takes the necessary steps to address not only its lack of transparency but the collection of data relating to beneficial owners of companies in America, and in particular some of its more opaque states such as Delaware.

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Category: Finance, Financial Services

Comments (1)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    What’s the problem? I am sure the paperwork wont be found if it is requested

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