Cayman Islands on grey list

| 02/04/2009

(CNS): Only four jurisdictions have been named and shamed on the much feared G20 summit black list and the Cayman Islands is not one of them. Cayman has, however, found itself on the grey list of jurisdictions being described by the OECD as those that have committed to the internationally agreed tax standard, but not yet substantially implemented those agreements. The grey list consists of around forty offshore financial centres that are no tax and low tax jurisdictions. (Left: UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown)

Despite the continuous mantra about onshore centres such as the City of London and the state of Delaware being less compliant with international regulations than Cayman, both the UK and the US are on the white list of countries considered to have substantially implemented the internationally agreed tax standard set by the OECD.

What will happen now remains to be seen, but whatever new regulations are to be drawn up and implemented it will be the OECD which will manage and supervise the process.

Speaking at this morning’s press briefing, Leader of Government Business Kurt Tibbetts said regardless of and in spite of the uncertainty, the Cayman Islands Government would be relentless in its efforts to demonstrate to the global community that our country, by any reasonable analysis, is cooperative, regulated and transparent in all aspects of our financial services sector.

“The Cayman Islands is better placed out of all the jurisdictions to make any adjustments that will be needed for us to comply with whatever those global standards will be. We are ready to make adjustments,” he said.

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Hey folks, let’s give the UK guy a break. 

    Maybe he is so blinded by his warped WASP mentality that he is conviced the UK  is the paragon of fairness and democracy.  It just goes to show how out of touch people like him are with reality in the face of cold hard facts. 

    Or maybe his idea of fairness and democracy is along the lines of some of those memorable incidents and atrocities pointed out in a few of the comments below.   

    Either way he is hopelessly ignorant or a facist.  Neither of which are bright prospects.

    I feel quite sorry for him.   

    • Anonymous says:

      Hmm, did i say the UK was a "paragon of virtue?" No – i simply said it is more fair and democratic than Cayman. I know my country has its faults the same as any other – current ones as well as ancient ones dating back before Cayman even existed.

      Cayman is a beautiful country, but some of its people are so incredibly small minded and hypocritical its unbelievable.

      A local friend ofmine who i thought was relatively intelligent had a long conversation with me about how much they wished all foreigners would leave. When i pointed out that they have a Jamaican helper they pay less than $4 an hour her response? – Of course i do i’m not doing the cleaning and no Caymanian would do that work – not for 3 times what i pay!! Sums up the attitude here.

      Ban gambling unless its to benefit the church, be a pastor who’s convicted of domestic assault and indecent assault on a child, hate homosexuals and try and drive them from your shores (no im not myself before that is aimed at me), blame all crime on expats too while your at it. You need to look closer to home to solve your problems, starting in the gangland known as John Grey high!

      And why would i lie about my ethnic background? This is an anonymous post and i am more than happy to defend my opinions without relying on lies and personal insults. As i said – PLEASE VOTE FOR INDEPENDENCE!!!!!!!!! I mean it – i as a UK tax payer dont like the idea of paying taxes to fund and protect your society.



      • Anonymous says:

         Why do those living in the UK have the misconception that their taxes go towards us? The UK does not just give the OTs money. Cayman has been financially independent for decades. You do not pay taxes to "fund and protect" our society; the police force is under the Cayman government’s payroll, and so is the Governor whom the UK provides. Even the investigation carried out by the London Metropolitan Police was paid for by Cayman. I don’t know where you get the idea that your tax money goes toward Cayman. Maybe Montserrat because unfortunately they have a continuing natural disaster and need help. But places like Cayman, Bermuda and BVI do not need financial aid from the UK and do not receive it.  

        Like you said, the UK has its faults like any other country. Yet you felt the need to point out some problems in Cayman as if they only occur here. All that you have listed against Cayman is equally applicable to the UK. Small minded and hypocritical people, check. Discrimination, check. Exploitation, check. Domestic assaults, check. Child abuse, check. Corrupt pastors, check. Xenophobic attitudes towards immigrants, check. Youth crime, check.  People who live in glass houses should not throw stones.  I think we know what our problems are but Cayman (like all countries) can’t just snap its fingers and make them disappear. It takes time. So give it a rest.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Message for Prime Minister Gordon Brown:

    Dear Mr. Brown,

    If you happen to have a Bible nearby please read Daniel 5: 25-28.

    I wish you all the best in the future.


    A Friend

  3. David - Jersey says:

    I am really glad that the G20 are clamping down on all you naughty people in Tax Havens. Tee Hee from Jersey 🙂

    • Anonymous says:

      We are no different from you David from Jersey (which scrambled at the last moment to sign up TIEAs). The difference is the UK is protecting the Crown Dependencies vs. the Overseas Territories and we both know why – same reason you had right of abode in the UK when we didn’t.   

  4. Anonymous says:

    As a UK citizen who will shortly be paying UK tax again i wish with all my heart that Cayman gets independance as quickly as possible. The average UK citizen gets absolutely nothing from Cayman, no right of residency any more than any other national – nothing. Yet Caymanians can have UK passports, free education, healthcare, unemployment benefit, housing anywhere in the EU simply by holding a UK passport!

    Several very high profile Caymanian criminals are now in the UK claiming all of the above benfits – crazy.

    Stop moaning about the UK and do something about it, trust me you get the better out of the deal than us, armed forces, political stability etc etc. We get nothing nothing in return – and dont try and say its the old colonial prestige from having overseas territories – ask any UK citizen how much they care about that!

    • Anonymous says:

      "The average UK citizen gets absolutely nothing from Cayman, no right of residency any more than any other national – nothing. Yet Caymanians can have UK passports, free education, healthcare, unemployment benefit, housing anywhere in the EU simply by holding a UK passport!".

      Hey dude, we didn’t get ask it for it, British Citizenship was given to us automatically on a non-reciprocal basis.

      One does not of course get free healthcare, unemployment benefit or housing from the UK Govt. unless you live in the UK. And why not, would you want to continue the discrimination against certain shades of citizens that Britain has practised for so long? Get over it!  

      • Anonymous says:

        Of course the Uk has a dodgy record in the past of race relations. But it is far far more of a fair and democratic society than Cayman.

        Dont get me wrong there are great aspects to Cayman but a large proportion of "true born Caymanians" seem to be the most racist people i have ever met. The same people rely on the fact that expats are to blame for everything from crime to the current financial mess.

        Wake up and look at who is currently at Hotel Northward and who s names are in the papers on a daily basis for been charged and convicted for the violent crimes. Of course there are exceptions but when you look at the % its Caymanians dealing the drugs and doing the crime!

        I wonder what Cayman would be like with no expats – a peaceful prosperous democratic society??? I think not.

        • Anonymous says:

          UK dude, don’t be so bitter against Cayman. This thing cuts both ways. When people have been burnt once too many times they become angry and bitter. But you know about that, don’t you. 

          From your perspective the UK is fair and democratic. No doubt you are a white man.    

          • Anonymous says:

            as it happens no i’m not. Your reply though proves my point – no doubt you ar Caymanian? :-

          • Anonymous says:


            Let’s see, have we robbed an entire people of their land ala the Chagos Islands and refused to apologize with reparations or repatriation to their homeland?  NO!!!

            Did our politicians sell peerage to campaign donors so that they could get in the House of Lords?  NO!!!

            Do we sell weapons to boost 3rd world dictators then depose them in a great farcical show ala Iraq, half of Africa, or Afghanistan? NO!!!

            Has any Caymanian government completely and utterly, raped entire cultures and pillaged natural resources then destabilized  half of a continent by setting up minorities to rule over majorities and creating false boundary lines and social mixing as is the UK’s legacy in Africa? NO!!

            Talking about discrimination, when last did our police officers hunt down and shoot a foreign worker in cold blood like the Brazilian dude after 7/7.  Great display of UK intelligence…mistaking Portuguese for Arabic.  The lesson to be learned is don’t be so quick to profile people.

            How about our dear Monstserrat brethren who really enjoyed their integation into UK society after the volcano…that was fair right?  NO!!!

            Has cayman ever undermined the legal system of another country (yet alone one that is your dependent territory for which you are duty bound to uphold the rule of law) by setting up spies and establishing illegal phone taps that again cost this country scores of dollars and a damaged reputation for prosecuting financial crime, then turned around and rewarded the culprits with cushy jobs back home?  Never!!!

            Or the mere fact that in Financial Services, when the CITY of LONDON remains the world’s largest offshore centre and the fulcrum of global tax avoidance you all have the audacity to tell everyone to do as they say but not as they do?!?  I guarantee you the standards they want to apply to others they don’t even apply to themselves.

            It doesn’t take much to beat the English…just be principled.  Stick to simple ones like a level playing field, and you will see their true intentions evaporate because they can’t stand up to the acid test of fairness and equity. 

            When it  comes to screwing the world over and making others take the blame, certainly our politicians are a lot less sophisticated, experienced and edcuated than our UK Masters.  That’s an undisputed title they can happily keep.

            God Save the Queen (and all her poor subjects). 

            • Anonymous says:

              TO: Anonymous (not verified) on Fri, 04/03/2009 – 23:10.

              Well said!

              To the clown who suugests that Britain is fair and democratic and responds that he/she is not white I do not believe you. I have lived there and know that what you say is false. I do not know of any minority in Britain who feels it is a fair and democratic country. Ask Tariq Ghaffur, Assistant Commissioner of the London Metropolitan Police whether he thinks it is a fair and democratic country. In addition, why would the chairman of the black officers association say that the London Metropolitan Police Service’s ethnic minority members face "shocking” levels of discrimination.

              You are lyng one way or the other – either about saying that you are not white, or that you really think Britain is a fair and democratic country.

  5. Anonymous says:

    ha ha!  you think grey list is a good thing?  it means plenty restrictions to come which will hurt the offshore banking system and decrease it here.  Watch!

  6. Anonymous says:

    Profound hypocrasy. Political power playing especially on the part of chief hypocrite Gordon Brown. 

    If the rules were common to all concerned we would be on the "Lily white list" we are not as we have been out manuvered again.

    No thanks can be given to those in charge who have not done their home work and refused to move until last minute. No plan, hard of hearing, non reading, non global thinking.

    You would think there was a caluculated attempt at being stupid. Yes we wuz!

    A thirteen year old school girl reading the news online and wathcing C-Span regularly would have spelt the frying pan burning and could have thought out a plan to preempt the last minute debacle we have found our self facing.

    The intelligent school girl (ISS) would have tracked emerging chatter eminating from sources of power to decide: Levin, Grassley, Baccus, Obama, SarKosy….effect an indiviualised plan to approach them asto influencing their objectives, our nutralize theirs. Track their legislative agendas. Attempt at offsetting those agenda with information, counter PR and lobbying from our end. It did not happen. 

    I hope there are so ISS running on May 20.  

  7. Anonymous says:

    Thank goodness the private sector took the bull by the horns.

  8. annonomous says:

    Nice to hear these corporate pirates cry about not being on a white list and being on a darker list. You creeps make me sick. Helping corporate crooks steal worker’s pension money is not an honorable profession. This party was going to end sooner or later and it just so happen to end later for the lot of you. Clean up you mess before the authorities do it for you. You get no good feeling here. It takes a storm to chase the money launders from the temple. Now the world has come down on you so deal with it.

  9. Anonymous says:

    To my dear friend who found it interesting that Jersey, Guernsey, and Isle of Man made it onto the "White List", well they don’t call it the ”white list’ for nothing.  The UK has always shown an unbending willingness to leave a few free passes with the concierge for their kin-folk in the Channel Islands.

    Did anyone notice that just about all the grey list coutnries are surprisingly not countries that consist predominantly of as Brazil’s President Lula described it "white people with blue eyes". 

    For those of you who missed Lula’s sensational joint press conference with Gordon Brown, he went on to elaborate that, ""This crisis was caused by irrational behaviour of white people with blue eyes, who before the crisis appeared to know everything and now demonstrate that they know nothing".

    Before we run off and accuse Lula of spreading hate and being a racist, there is some merit to what he is saying.  As has been pointed out by other observers in this forum, the white list is ‘chalked’ full with hypocrisy.  It is this shameless arrogance and grandstanding that has gotten the global economy exactly where it is now.

    You think giving more tax dollars to these lazy, fat demagogues will accomplish anything?  You think socialized banking is good?  You think capitalism won the war?  Guess what, socialism is back better than ever, but this time big brother talks a socialist game but plays cards with a capitalist deck! 

    If you think Wall Street and High Street firms were the scam artists, just wait until these white-list G-20 leaders cash in their chips in the next 18-36 months!  Greatest con of all times is waiting to be unveiled.   

  10. Roy Tatum says:

     Congrats to the Government

    Switzerland, Bermuda and many other quality financial centres are on the grey list so we are not alone.  

    But the facts are that during the UDPs time they did not act to do anything about these required treaties.  So no matter what they say, we all recall well how innefficient Mac and his UDP was last time around – bluster & bullying with no substance or significant accomplishments.  The PPM are the exact opposite.

    We now need to continue to work to ensure that we are on the ‘white list’.  I know that we will succeed.  We also need to ensure that we approve the new constitution so that we can get a bit more protection against the UKs ability to pass laws that impact the country’s business.  


    But again well done PPM.  

  11. Anonymous says:

    well well…so the kury and alden show got their butts saved again! we cannot afford to keep doing business like this guys. dont let us all sweat like that again in the future. please stay ahead of the game next time around..

    • Anonymous says:

      "well well…so the kury and alden show got their butts saved again! we cannot afford to keep doing business like this guys. dont let us all sweat like that again in the future. please stay ahead of the game next time around".

      The fact is that both Governments, UDP and PPM, were responsible to sign up these agreements. UDP did nothing on this while in office. PPM, while late, did the necessary. They did not "get their butts saved". It was by their own efforts. McKeeva must share in any allocation of blame. He in fact resisted such agreements. McKeeva’s  stance of being savvy and proactive on these matters is a mere sham when you shinethe spotlight of the facts on the situation.     

  12. Anonymous says:

    grey list is one thing. But the stream of regulations to come will also have implications for hedge funds. the problem with all this so that the government left it so late to deal with these issues. they should learn from this close call and start thinking about the future regulatory intitiaves we now know are coming down the pipeline. But I am not so sure I can trust Mr Mclaughlin to do that

  13. Sideshow Bob says:

    This is a sideshow – tax changes in the major financial centres are a much bigger threat.  But doing some simple things like more bilateral treaties, spending a bit more on regulation and repealing and replacing the confidentiality law will all help.

    • Anonymous says:

      "This is a sideshow – tax changes in the major financial centres are a much bigger threat".

      Wrong. Multilateral sanctions by the world’s biggest economies is obviously a bigger threat. Individual jurisdictions seeking to close tax loopholes is challenging but may also present an opportunity for us. It may force investment managers etc. to move offshore altogether. We have to keep ahead of the game though.

  14. Anonymous says:

    What is interesting is that although Jersey, Guersney and the Isle of Man were also scrambling at the 11th hour to sign TIEAs they managed to get on the *white* list. I wonder if they had any help from that other *white* list country, the UK. I think UK Crown dependencies are protected a little more than UK overseas territories all of which are on the grey list.

    Anyway the note 4 by Cayman may mean that once the OECD examines our unilateral mechanism we may make it on to the white list. Note that we have entered into more agreements than any other country or territory on the grey list.

  15. Anonymous says:

    The United States as an “Offshore Tax Haven”

    Most financial experts agree that the United States is a primary location for international business. The presence of good banks, advanced infrastructure, a consistent legal system and a stable government are all characteristics of the United States that are taken for granted. However, many people do not realize the enormous tax benefits given to “non-resident aliens” making passive income in the United States, or earning income outside the United States and simply using the USA as their own personal “offshore tax haven.” The United States does not tax non-resident aliens for any interest income or dividend income derived from the United States. There is zero capital gains on profits from investments. There is zero tax on income earned outside the USA. Only active United States derived income is taxed. Also, various tax treaties give a United States company certain tax advantages when doing business outside the USA. -From

    Does this sound familiar??….why is the USA on the “white list”? Why is Delaware and Colorado not on the “grey list”?

    I believe it is time for the Cayman Government to look into legal action against the UK.

  16. Anonymous says:

    It really is disgraceful that the US and UK can bully themselves on to a white list and knock their competitors like Cayman on to a grey one. But that is how it will always be especially when you have Gordon Brown, whose incompetent ten year term as Chancellor of the Exchequer (equal to our Financial Secretary) helped to cause this financial mess. He is an equally incompetent non elected Prime Minister and is fighting for his political life. He needs to distract the world away from his idiocy by "rounding up the usual suspects’ ie Cayman and the other "tax havens" and kissing Obama’s ass, hoping some of the magic will rub off on him.. But where did the greed and the bonuses start? Wall Street and the City of London-London being, according to the much respected "Economist" magazine, the second largest offshore centre in the world.

    • Anonymous says:

      Kudos needs to go to CNS for providing this forum. Those of us who use it need to support it-but how?

      Anyway, the whole G20 thing makes some of us wonder about the total waste of money we call "the London Office". It was created to give former Governor and friend of the Jim Bodden Unity Team Tom Russell a job and served as a very expensive recruitment office for many years-something not needed, thank God, since the passing of the Public Service Management Law. It provided a cocktail party circuit job for Russell’s Caymanian successor (and, occasionally, her husband) but despite setting up a "Friends of Cayman" group of minor totally useless ineffective MPs (whom most people in the UK don’t even know) and former Governors etc it does ABSOLUTELY NOTHING to advance Cayman’s interests. This is obvious by the results of the G20 meeting! No one gives a blind monkey about the London Office-if- a huge if – they even know about it and its hugely expensive Londond real estate position. It is now run by Tom Russell’s former assistant, an English lady, Mary Chandler-Allen since the Caymanian who took over from Russell is now employed back in Cayman. Why can’t we come together to close the whole damn waste of money (London Rep’s salary is nearly $150,000 for doing sweet sod all, let alone the rest of the staff there).