UK and Cayman agree on beneficial ownership principle

| 31/08/2015 | 0 Comments
Cayman News Service

Premier Alden McLaughlin and Acting Minister Grant Shapps

(CNS Business): The stand-in overseas territories minister has indicated that the UK and the Cayman Islands are in agreement over beneficial ownership, despite indications that the British government is still pushing for a central register. On a short visit to Cayman last week, Grant Shapps said he believed the two governments were in agreement over the main goal, which is for law enforcement agencies to be have quick and easy access to who owns what in a transparent way.

“We entirely agree on that,” he said, adding that the technicalities still had to be worked on. “But we are on track and the important thing is agreeing the objective.”

Shapps said he did not “detect any barriers in achieving the goal”. He said there was more than one way to go about providing information on beneficial ownership and he was confident that it could be worked out within Cayman’s existing systems.

Cayman Premier Alden McLaughlin echoed the sentiment and said that the issue regarding beneficial ownership was not about the need for transparency but about the question of a central registry. However, he said the UK had already moved to the position where another mechanism that would allow that same exchange, which is what the authorities are interested in, could be implemented.

Shapps praised Cayman for the moves it has already made regarding tax transparency and said the Cayman Islands was leading the way. He said he expected further cooperation and discussions on the issues ahead of the annual Overseas Territories Joint Ministerial Council (JMC), scheduled for the end of the year in London. The UK minister said that Cayman was an excellent example of a well-run efficient administration and congratulated the current government on the budget and the overall improvements in the management of public finances.

Pointing to the challenges the government faced, he said having good financial management and a first class approach to public finance and administration was important to help manage the change.

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Category: Finance, Financial Services

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