Scott defends Cayman at offshore conference

| 21/11/2017 | 1 Comment

(CNS Business): The CEO of Cayman Finance, Jude Scott, defended the Cayman Islands’ financial services sector at an offshore conference in London recently. Taking a seat alongside several high-profile journalists at the 6th Annual OffshoreAlert Europe Conference in London, he was the only panelist representing the financial industry in a discussion about the recent data hack and leak of the so-called Paradise Papers. “I proudly represent the Cayman Islands,” Scott said. “There’s been a tremendous amount of work that’s been done over many, many years to build what is now a successful, well-run jurisdiction – a jurisdiction that is very transparent, very cooperative,” he added.

The panel was moderated by David Marchant, owner and editor of OffshoreAlert. Other panelists included Simon Bowers, a reporter for the International Committee of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ); James Oliver, award winning television producer and investigative journalist for Panorama, the BBC’s flagship current affairs programme; and Hilary Osborne, editor of The Guardian’s money website.

In response to questions, Scott stressed what he said was Cayman’s leadership on beneficial ownership . “We …worked hard over the past 15 years developing what we think is one of the best approaches to beneficial ownership, which is a verified beneficial ownership regime,” he said.

According to trade industry news reports on the conference, Scott also argued that Cayman’s model for BO is better than the jurisdictions that are trying to establish central registers. He explained that these are depending on self-reporting, and given that hardened criminals are not going to certify that they are hardened criminals, “it’s really a useless tool at preventing real, hardened criminality in a jurisdiction”, he said. Scott explained that Cayman continues to work on the anti-money-laundering and beneficial ownership regulations because criminals continue to evolve.

The release of the Paradise Papers, a cache of some 13 million documents that originated from the offshore law firm Appleby’s Bermuda office, has refocused the world’s attention on the concept of tax havens and the growing use of offshore accounts and companies by a diverse range of entities and people, from universities and monarchs to large corporations and politicians.

Cayman’s government and its offshore industry are currently bracing themselves for possible inclusion on a new European Union blacklist of  uncooperative offshore and low tax jurisdictions. While Premier Alden McLaughlin and Financial Services Minister Tara Rivers were engaged in a recent charm offensive in Brussels about the local financial services sector, there are concerns that this recent leak, which has dominated the headlines alongside Cayman’s zero tax environment, could see the jurisdiction listed regardless of the levels of cooperation.

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Publicly accessible registers are now a must for tax havens like the Caymans.

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