Financial services gets budget boost

| 07/11/2017
CNS Business

Minister Tara Rivers and Cayman Finance CEO Jude Scott advocate for Cayman in London

(CNS Business): Funding for the financial services sector has increased considerably in the 2018/19 budgets, the new minister for the sector, Tara Rivers, revealed in the Legislative Assembly Monday, as she stressed the need to protect the industry and underscored the importance of the sector to the local economy. Rivers revealed that while money would be spent by the relevant government agencies and authorities to improve standards, research and information as well as for promotion and education, the public purse would also be increasing its investment in the local NGO, Cayman Finance, to $750,000 matching the investment currently made by the private sector into the industry’s local lobby group.

In the wake of the first revelations from the latest batch of leaked offshore documents, known as the Paradise Papers, Rivers said it was important that Cayman kept up its efforts to dispel the persistent misconceptions and lack of understanding about the jurisdiction. She warned that the misrepresentation of the financial industry here threatened its viability and the best way to combat the misunderstanding was through increased and constant engagement with international stakeholders lawmakers, regulators and NGOs. 

Rivers said very little about the content of the Paradise Papers, which comprise material hacked from offshore law firm Appleby, but indicated that so far there was nothing to show that anything other than legal and legitimate business was going on in Cayman.

Raising awareness of the beneficial role Cayman plays and how it adds value to other economies and in turn the global economy was important to protecting the industry, which generates more than half of the country’s GDP and government revenue, she said.

As well as funding more engagement and pumping money into the public sector, in particular CIMA, for better research and maintaining global standards and best practice, she said increasing cash to Cayman Finance with the creation of a dedicated line item in the appropriations for her ministry was part of the overall goal to support all efforts informing the world about Cayman.

Rivers told the LA that work to “dispel negative perceptions needed to be ongoing as misrepresentation can hurt our jurisdiction”.

She added, “Our financial services regime needs to raise awareness about what we do and what we don’t do,” as she emphasized the work that has gone on to ensure that financial crime and corruption is not a part of the business environment here and that all offshore business in Cayman meets the highest international standards. 

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Category: Finance, Financial Services

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