Cayman Finance calls for more public cash to protect industry

| 24/11/2015 | 1 Comment
CNS Business

Premier Alden McLaughlin, Financial Services Minister Wayne Panton, Cayman Finance CEO Jude Scott and Cayman Finance Chair Ian Wight

(CNS Business): The promotion and protection of Cayman’s financial services industry is badly underfunded, according to the head of Cayman Finance. Speaking last week at the inaugural Members Briefing of the industry’s private sector umbrella organisation, Jude Scott, its CEO, said the local FS industry was in urgent need of proper funding by government to ensure it was able to protect itself from threats and to take advantage of opportunities that would help it grow. 

Scott said there was much to celebrate, especially in the face of constant regulatory changes, as much had been achieved and he was excited about the organization’s plans for next year. With proper funding Cayman Finance could bring even greater value to the industry and the country, he told the members at the first event of its kind, which was held at the Grand Cayman Marriott Beach Resort.

He acknowledged the support from the Ministry of Financial Services, its minister, Wayne Panton, and his team, as well as the Attorney General’s Office and CIMA — support which, he said, came despite them also being chronically underfunded.

Scott pointed to the pressing need for more investment in promoting financial services, given their financial significance to government and the economy.

“There is much more we could be doing if the regulator, the ministry and Cayman Finance had the necessary funding. Recent research undertaken by Cayman Finance found that for every $1 spent by the Cayman Islands Government on financial services, government receives approximately $18 in revenue. In comparison, the other pillar of Cayman’s economy, tourism, for every $1 spent by the government on tourism, it receives approximately $2 in revenue,” he said.

“Our industry employs over 5,000 people, and in excess of 2,700 Caymanians. We are a prominent purchaser of services from large, medium and small businesses in other industries in the Cayman economy and our industry provides scholarships, internships and training for talented, hardworking Caymanians and heavily supports many charitable causes in our community,” Scott added.

He urged government to properly reinvest in the industry, which he said was “the key pillar of the Cayman Islands economy, so it can be properly protected, promoted, developed and grown to continue benefitting the Cayman Islands and its people.”

Mark Lewis, an attorney in the offshore sector and industry veteran, outlined the marketing plans for Cayman Finance in 2016, which he said would fortify the brand and the industry, both internationally and domestically.

“It will capitalise on emerging opportunities; it will robustly defend our territory and market lead, it will enhance the knowledge of the local population and in government of the true value of the financial services industry to the Cayman Islands economy, and it will strategically market the Cayman Islands in a way that is responsive, creative and forward-thinking.”

Ian Wight, Chairman of Cayman Finance, said the briefing was part of the organisation’s continued efforts to showcase its value to the industry, an opportunity to reflect on the achievements of 2015 and discuss plans for 2016. “We are facing challenges that will require us to work even harder together as one industry in order to arrive at the sort of innovative solutions that allowed us to sustain and grow this industry in the past.

Panton gave an update on the work of the financial services ministry, including new legislation and regulations passed and in process.

Baron Jacob, partner at Ernst and Young, provided an update on behalf of Cayman Finance’s Public Awareness Committee. He said the highlight was the Student Education and Work Experience Pilot Programme developed in partnership with member firms, the Financial Services and Education ministries. The programme, aimed at creating a pathway for high-performing Caymanian students into the Cayman Islands financial services industry, was rated as very good or excellent by 95% of participating students and will be expanded in 2016.

Tania Dons said Cayman Finance’s membership was growing and now included 46 member firms, representing well over 2,000 individuals and was truly representative and inclusive of Cayman’s financial services industry. The briefing was attended by over 170 people from Cayman’s financial services industry and government officials, including Governor Helen Kilpatrick, Premier Alden McLaughlin, Finance Minister Marco Archer, Community Affairs Minister Osbourne Bodden, as well as Panton.

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Category: Finance, Financial Services

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  1. Anonymous says:

    How about publishing some accounts for the organisation? How much does each member contribute towards the promotion of “their” business, etc.

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