Notes on BO exchange details published

| 30/08/2016 | 8 Comments

CNS Business(CNS Business): The arrangements under which the UK law enforcement authorities will be able to access information on the beneficial owners of offshore companies registered in Cayman have been posted on the FCO website for several months, though local officials say that the technical aspects of how the data will be accessed is still being worked out. The exchange of notes that was signed in April is, however, publicly available, giving a broad outline of what the British police or tax authorities can access under the deal with Cayman.

While there are still some concerns that the government will in time be forced to allow much more automatic and public access to this information, Financial Services Minister Wayne Panton confirmed to CNS Business this week that the data will not be aggregated in one place but that a technical system is being developed that will allow quick access by nominated authorities just to the information they need.

The notes signed by the CI government and the UK government also make it an offence for anyone who gets access to this information to leak or disclose it to unauthorized people or entities.

The technical notes make it clear that the points of contact between Cayman and the UK will be people who have been vetted by the national crime agency, but Cayman has agreed to share what the UK authorities ask for within 24 hours of a request being made or even as little as an hour in sensitive, urgent cases.

The arrangement is based on establishing and maintaining a central register or an equivalent system, which is what Cayman has opted for and so far has obtained the support of the UK not to make it public. Provided its agencies get “accurate and current information on beneficial ownership” and “effective and unrestricted access” when needed, local officials believe they can stave off what others see as the inevitable pressure for a public register.

There has been some speculation that the recent visit to the Cayman Islands by the US ambassador to Jamaica tied into requests by the American government to enter into a similar arrangement. While the minister has confirmed this is not yet the case, he said the Cayman Islands government has already made a public offer to all G20 countries that it is willing to enter into similar law enforcement arrangements on beneficial ownership.

See the Exchange of Notes and Technical Protocol in full in the CNS Library

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Category: Finance, Financial Services

Comments (8)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    The deal is fine. Most of the commenters have no clue.

  2. REALITY BITES says:

    Dear CNS

    After reading the agreement I understand why the Progressives did not share the document they signed with the U.K. with the general public. Was the intention to place Cayman at a competitive disadvantage when competitors like Bermuda, BVI and Bahamas to name a few have not signed such agreements to date?

    This is a very poor decision by the Progressives who have misrepresented what they did and stand for given the evidence on display. Publicly they claimed one thing to be fighting for Cayman yet privately they agreed to terms that none of our competitors have done. This is disingenuous and a classic example of playing politics by the ppm.

    Compare the outcome of their collective actions versus what was actually said by Premier Alden McLaughlin in his official statement

    Disappointed is an understatement when considering how bold the Premier and his government accepted the accolades and praise offered publicly when we measure the final outcome of this agreement with the U.K. which is ‘coincidentally’ to be implemented in June 2017 AFTER the conclusion of Cayman’s general elections scheduled for 24 May 2017.

    There is no dressing up the facts they lied to the public and have bet on Cayman’s future to suit their political aspirations. How can we trust them after this latest public relations faux pas? In addition to the disastrous handling of the David Report on PR and Immigration what else are they hiding from the general public?

    • Anonymous says:

      Dear Reality Bites,

      What is astonishingly clear from your comments is that you simply cannot tell the truth or you are woefully ignorant or thoroughly confused.

      The Government has been very clear and very transparent on all matters.

      Not one aspect of your comments is true.

      The representatives of the Financial Services industry were fully involved in discussions and signed off on the actions of the Government.

      The exchange of Notes and the Technical protocol were signed in similar if not identical form by all Overseas Territories and Crown Dependencies.

      Look back at the stories in the press covering this in May and you will see that there was full disclosure and publication of these documents.

      People will not be fooled by your pathetic nonsense.

    • Anonymous says:

      PPM telling lies is not a surprise to anyone paying attention!

      • Anonymous says:

        You’re so right Im one of the many waiting for my PR decision living in limbo for over 2 years

  3. Anonymous says:

    The mechanics of having a 1hr or less up to 24hr turn around is likely to be a logistical strain on any human custodians since it will include weekends, holidays, and middle of the night requests. The database is necessarily going to have to be automated in some way which will invite the best “info crusader” hackers on the planet. Do we have the budget and/or wherewithal to secure this info? A data breach seems much more precarious and inevitable having read the tight parameters and timelines of the exchange agreement. Do we wait for entity investors to ask the same questions?

  4. Anonymous says:

    PPM don’t even try to push back against the UK and will sign anything put in front of them for support in the upcoming elections

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