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Industry body helping CIG dodge public register

| 04/03/2016 | 3 Comments

CNS Business(CNS Business): With the threat still looming that the UK could force the Cayman Islands and other overseas territories to introduce a publicly accessible beneficial ownership register, Cayman Finance has said it is working with government on the technology to help satisfy the access demands without making the register public. Jude Scott, the CEO of Cayman Finance, which represents the local offshore industry, said his organisation was providing industry input on the design of an alternative system to meet the increasing demands for ever more transparency while maintaining local control.

He said the association endorsed government’s position to maintain and enhance the current verified beneficial ownership regime and the proposal to further enhance the current system with a technology platform.

“Cayman Finance understands the proposed centralised access technology concept would be non-public, with strictly local access; and maintains the key elements of Cayman’s current effective regime,” Scott said. “Importantly, the proposed concept is intended to utilise technology to provide more efficient and faster access for appropriate beneficial ownership information requests,” he added, commending the efforts by the financial services ministry to communicate the benefits of the current system in the global fight against financial crime.

“We are pleased to see that progress is being made and that our existing effective system is receiving appropriate positive international recognition,” Scott said. He further noted that Cayman had long recognized that the threat of global financial crime was an ever-evolving and serious global issue requiring effective processes and appropriate transparency and collaboration across all G20 and IFC countries.

“The Cayman Islands continues to play a leadership role on this important issue, including maintaining and enhancing its world class CSP verified beneficial ownership regime,” Scott said

Just last month UK representatives were here to examine how Cayman proposes to deal with the demand for access to the beneficial owners of offshore entities for tax, corruption and crime purposes, as the premier has made it clear Cayman will not introduce an open central register when almost no other country in the world is offering such access.

The British government has drawn up legislation to introduce a beneficial ownership registry (BOR) in the UK and the European Union has also approved a requirement for all member states to create registers but the actual implementation of any such laws or directives maybe as much as two years away. Nevertheless, the UK is keeping up the pressure on its crown dependencies and territories to also introduce some form of BOR.

Cayman’s goal now is to find a way to create an accessible full register that can satisfy the requirement of instant access for legitimate enquiries but keep other prying eyes away. As government and the local industry battle to retain control of who has access to what, they claim that this is not about a lack of transparency but security and legitimate privacy.

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Category: Finance, Financial Services

Comments (3)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Beneficial owner information is available to law enforcement and tax authorities via existing proper channels.

    What benefit does a register offer? Increased filing burdens and fees for companies and investors? More government staff? all this so the UK will look like they accomplished something to their voters?

  2. Anonymous says:

    With the incompetence demonstrated in other Technological areas of the CIG, I would dare say there could be a breach within onebminuteof the system being implemented.

    • Anonymous says:

      Another pre-emptive strike on Cayman’s reputation. How about being a part of the solution like those mentioned in the article. If you don’t have a constructive suggestion why the negative comments, unless you are just plain against Cayman?

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