Britain’s OT minister backs Cayman’s offshore sector

| 13/10/2016 | 0 Comments
CNS Business

Cayman Finance CEO Jude Scott and Baroness Anelay

(CNS Business): During her recent trip to the Cayman Islands, Baroness Anelay attempted to soothe fears that pressure from the world’s most powerful economies for increasing transparency in the offshore sector will eventually undermine the financial services success in jurisdictions like Cayman. When the UK’s overseas territories minister met with members of Cayman Finance, she indicated that she believes the sector is already well regulated here and acknowledged the jurisdiction’s role and its record on regulatory, anti-money laundering and tax matters.

“My visit has been a great opportunity to further strengthen the ties between our two countries and to discuss in person the leadership role Cayman’s financial services industry is playing in international regulatory issues,” she said, according to a release from Cayman Finance.

The minister said Cayman had proven its dedication to collaborative efforts and accountability.

“The sector as a whole is often in the spotlight and a subject of discussion amongst world leaders, but the Cayman Islands’ record of cooperation and transparency speaks for itself,” she said.  “The need to make changes to counter serious and organised crime has been embraced by Cayman’s financial services sector, with the support of the Cayman Islands Government,” she added and welcomed the industry’s willingness to adapt in response to and new and evolving changes.

Identifying the benefits she believes Cayman brings to the global economy and onshore economies she said, “The UK and Cayman Islands economies also enjoy mutual benefits from our respective financial services sectors. The expertise of the City of London and the financial services providers in Cayman are second to none.”

Cayman’s government and the offshore sector will be relieved that the baroness is sticking with the UK government’s position in recent years, which was started by former prime minister David Cameron when he began defending Cayman publicly, declaring that it was not a tax haven.

The problem now, however, is that the Britain’s exit from the European Union will diminish the mother country’s ability to influence pressures from the continent for much more public access to information within financial entities, not just here but in all zero- or low-tax jurisdictions. The latest review by European countries could see Cayman blacklisted purely on the basis there are no direct taxes here.

If that happens, the declining influence of the UK on the European and broader world stage could leave Cayman exposed, regardless of Britain’s position. While Baroness Anelay may have insisted at a recent press briefing that the UK’s departure from the European Union will not put the BOT’s in harm’s way, the emerging situation in Europe appears to contradict that, with many experts already implying all of the UK’s dependent territories are in for a rough ‘Brexit’ ride.

However, at a dinner hosted by the jurisdiction’s financial services industry representative body in honour of Baroness Anelay’s visit, Cayman Finance Chair Ian Wight and the Cayman Finance CEO Jude Scott were delighted to hear her publicly state the beneficial role she believes Cayman plays in the global economy and acknowledge the transparency on information exchanges and cross border cooperation.

“We have in place a regulatory regime which rivals or surpasses many of the world’s other top financial centres in the area of anti-money laundering and verified beneficial ownership,” Scott said.  “Cayman Finance continues to work together with our financial services industry, the Cayman Islands Government and our regulator, the Cayman Islands Monetary Authority, to maintain our status as the premier global financial hub.”

He added that the local financial industry facilitates the essential allocation of capital and financing around the world, benefiting businesses and people throughout developed and developing countries.

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Category: Finance, Financial Services

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