Cayman ready for review

| 27/11/2008

(CNS): The anticipated review of its Overseas Territories and Crown Dependencies by the UK government has been welcomed by the local body representing the sector here in the Cayman Islands. “This is hardly the first such review that Cayman has gone through” said CIFSA Director Jeremy Smith.  “And each time the conclusions reached are the same – that Cayman is a very professional and well regulated jurisdiction that adheres to international standards as well or better than the most respected financial centres.”

 The UK Chancellor Alistair Darling announced on 24 November in his pre-budget speach that he would be looking at financial service sectors in territories and dependencies. The Cayman Islands Financial Services Association (CIFSA) says Cayman stands ready to fully participate in the process and once again demonstrate to the world that compliance with international regulations and standards in Cayman remains stronger than most financial centres worldwide.

“As long as this review is conducted in good faith, without a politically pre-determined outcome, we are extremely confident that this review will reach similar conclusions,” Smith added.

An independent report recently published by the US Government Accounting Office (GAO) supports the position  that Cayman’s regulatory regime is in good order. CIFSA said that important, and independent, rankings and measurements of financial centres such as the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) and Global Financial Centres Index (GFCI) have also credited Cayman with high standards.

 In terms of transparency and cooperativeness the US GAO report said “"U.S. officials from multiple agencies said that the Cayman Islands government has been cooperative in responding to U.S. requests and shared useful information at their initiative related to questionable financial activities that involve U.S. connections."  Rankings from the FATF show that the Cayman Islands significantly outperform jurisdictions like the U.S., Canada, Australia, Singapore, and Switzerland in adherence to internationally agreed anti-money laundering standards.  Yet these facts rarely get much coverage.

“The Cayman Islands is constantly being asked to prove itself in terms of professionalism and ethics in ways that other financial centres are not,” explained CIFSA Chairman Eduardo D’Angelo P. Silva. “And many of those other jurisdictions could not stand up to the kind of scrutiny we routinely deal with here.  We are far from the secretive enclave that some try to label us.  We have always encouraged foreign press and legislators to visit usand experience what Cayman is all about.  And without fail they come away impressed and with a completely different perspective on our industry.”

He added that the Cayman Islands financial industry plays an important role in the world’s finances, providing services and products that help residents on-shore in ways that many are not even aware of.  The current financial crisis has its roots firmly on-shore, but the Cayman Islands will prove a valuable ally in the fight to solve this crisis.


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