Cayman faces new EU ‘black list’ threat

| 05/05/2010

(CNS): As financial experts here have often argued, no sooner is the Cayman Islands removed from one ‘black list’ than another one looms. Reports in the international media regarding proposed legislation in Europe to regulate the hedge fund industry could see Cayman at the top of a new black list of countries that would be off-limits to EU investors. Accordingto reports in the Wall Street Journal, lawmakers in the European Union are close to passing legislation that would prevent European investors from putting money into a hedge fund domiciled in certain offshore tax havens, in particular Cayman, where it is believed a significant number of funds have a registered entity.

The paper reports that the proposal would require European authorities to create a "black list" of countries, with European investors being prohibited from sending their money to funds based in those countries. To escape the list, countries would have to satisfy a list of as yet undisclosed criteria. Countries would have to satisfy a list of four or five criteria, Jean-Paul Gauzès, the French politician who is leading debate on the legislation, told WSJ.
Gauzès said in a telephone interview that he wasn’t sure whether the Cayman Islands would now be placed on a black list. But, he said, the country could easily take steps to ensure it isn’t on the list by the time the legislation enters into force in 2012. "If the Cayman Islands doesn’t satisfy these conditions, then this is really a country that deserves to beon the black list," Gauzès reportedly said.
To avoid the black list, countries must have regulations against money laundering and terrorism financing, a deal to share information with EU regulators, laws ensuring access for EU-based depositories and tax agreements with EU nations based on conventions developed by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development.
The Cayman Islands recently signed its 16th TIEA having already met the OECD criteria and being promoted to its ‘white list’ last year. At the time a number of local pundits pointed out that once Cayman had been removed from one grey or black list it would not be long before another one came along.

Category: Business

Comments (47)

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  1. Bodden says:

    Believe you me, they will not stop pressing us until they get what they want:

    A VERY WEAK FINANCIAL OFFSHORE CENTER

    I believe one way the special interest groups are succeeding, is by the aggrandizement and exaggeration of crime here so much that UK investors would fear to set foot in the Caribbean. Bearing in mind, we have 4 murders for the year, "they" whoever they are, have managed just the other day to broadcast the Cayman Islands on

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/england/8637201.stm

    ,which I believe set us up in a negative light. Some may disagree with me that the OECD is not involved. But they are powerful people, I am not surprise if they and entities in the UK correspond often about us

  2. Anonymous says:

    why is "black" associated with bad and "white" associated with good ?

     

    • Don't4GetMe says:

      Been hitting the reefer?

    • Twyla Vargas says:

      Very Good question, so lets hear some answers from someone who may know why it is called Black List.

      Black List?, why it wasnt called, "The Red List,  or the Blue list, green,  pink or yellow?    Uhmmm.

    • Anonymous says:

      My friend. This terminology dates back from colonial days when the good ‘white’ Europeans came to civilize the dark skinned natives. And the good ‘white’ plantation owners provided employment for the African slaves.

    • anonymous says:

      ever since there was night and day…..  

       

      it did not originate with skin colour.  it is found in ancient writings long before the first white man set foot in africa, or the first colonists.

       

      i am however all for changing it to some other refernence.  

    • Jock McGinty says:

      It is derived from sheep rearing.  The black sheep are always the worst behaved.  But goodness aren’t they so darn sexy . . . .

  3. Simon says:

    "To avoid the black list, countries must have regulations against money laundering and terrorism financing, a deal to share information with EU regulators, laws ensuring access for EU-based depositories and tax agreements with EU nations based on conventions developed by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development."

    If these are are the requirements to stay off the black list, Cayman will not be on it – it fulfils them already.

    • Anonymous says:

      Unfortunately the criteria are not quite what is set out in the list. For example, the EU does not accept Cayman’s anti-money laundering legislation to be the equivalent of their for competitive reasons and may never find them equivalent.On that basis Cayman would currently be on the black list. Similarly not all regulators in the EU will allow Cayman to have agreements with them – so Cayman currently fails on multiple grounds – the same is true with the tax information agreements – Cayman does not have them with each of the 27 EU countries. This is not about whether Cayman is well regulated. It is about whether Cayman is a competitor.

    • Married to Caymanian says:

       We are now the target of US taxes…..and YES, this means ANY Caymanian enjoying the use of aUSA passport.

      Time to get the checkbook out Caymanians….you have been sold out! Please list your homes as  assets, your bank accounts, what do you THINK is next??? Taxes for Caymanians!!

      You "enjoyed" your trips to Miami and sending your kids to American schools, now Mr. Obama would like his pound of flesh please.

      Wow, CI Govt sold us out!!!

      Read between the lines people and call your American tax attorneys right away.  I foresee a lot of Caymanians tryingto give up their citizenship, but it will not come cheaply friends….The IRS has you now!

      http://www.compasscayman.com/caycompass/2010/05/05/US-citizens-in-Cayman-targeted/

      • Anon says:

        It will cost you 40% of the current MarketValue of all our world wide assets in tax to give up your US citizenship now.

         

        Seems expensive

      • Anonymous says:

        Caymanians, who hold U.S. passports and who have not been filing their U.S. tax returns should burn the passport and pretend it doesn’t exist.  As long as they never plan to live or work in the U.S., they will be ok.

        It’s true the U.S. is cracking down on ex-pats, probably a misguided adttempt to force people to move back to the U.S.  But this is happening to all U.S. ex-pats.

        How did Cayman’s government get blamed for this or sell anyone out?

      • Anonymous says:

        I don’t care. I won’t be giving a penny to Uncle Sam if I was born here and one of my parents were a U.S. citizen and thus I got the passport through them.

        Not one penny will I give them!  I would prefer to fight the IRS or serve time!

      • Anonymous says:

        I fail to see how the CI Govt has "sold us out".

        This decision was made by the US Govt.

    • Anonymous says:

      "If these are the criteria" – hopefully that is sarcasm or you meant to type, "If these were the actual criteria", then your comment would have been valid. As you hopefully know, there are anti-competitive interpretations placed on each of those criteria by the EU designed to make non-EU countries uncompetitive in the funds sector.  By way of example, irrespective of the facts,  for competitive reasons the EU does not consider the Cayman Islands to have anti-money laundering legislation which is "equivalent" to the EU "standards". If you would like to read for yourself:

      http://www.jmlsg.org.uk/…/JMLSG_-_PAPER_ON_EQUIVALENCE.pdf 

       There are similar anti-competitive roadblocks related to the other criteria as well.

  4. Pray says:

    Let us pray for a Tory victory tomorrow – because Brown and Clegg will saddle up with the plans of Germany and France without hesitation.

  5. Arrghh says:

    I think we were better off as pirates and privateers.  They had more fun also.  The problem we have run into is that you can’t be a half-pirate or half-privateer.  It’s a chicken-$hit way to be.  Every time he signs one of those lists it’s embarrassing. These islands weren’t founded on being pu**ies.  Our flag doesn’t say He Hath Founded It Upon The please??  We need to be full-blown pirates!

    "Stick yer black lists!!!! We’re comin to take yer hegey funs ‘n yer wimmen!!"

  6. Anonymous says:

    By the time that the European Union, the UK, and America is finished with their mission to destroy Cayman – we are all going to be on the streets of George Town begging crumbs from the cruise ship tourists.

    • Pit Bull says:

      Well Cayman should have invested its ill gotten gains better for its boom decades as a parasite.

  7. Kaboom says:

    What kind of Game is McKeeva playing the fact we are building this place out with these projects it obvious the financial industry is slipping away slowly yet we piling this place up with more business people as he puts it. If the business is leaving these shores what will they do here.This just does not make sense. What a bunch of dreamers??????

  8. Anonymous says:

    What a bunch of lies we are being told by our leadership all these TAX agreements don’t mean diddly Squat we need to start limiting the amount of Rudolph Elmer’s here because they will start looking for financial rewards for all the information gleaned from here we know it is already happening with certain persons This Hocus Pocus UDP reward program needs to be stopped we need to limit the amount of these so called financial experts arriving here who will siphon off the rest of our financial industry.

    • Anonymous says:

      1 April 2009 – Net News – GEORGE TOWN, Cayman Islands: The Cayman Islands Government on Wednesday signed a five-nation, seven-territory information exchange agreement in Sweden, two days after a letter from the territory’s Leader of Government Business, Kurt Tibbetts, was delivered to US President Barack Obama. 

  9. Financial advisor says:

     The whole western world is in a debt crisis… some worse than others and some in a better position to pay back there debt but in todays global economy every country is so intertwined that a problem in one country is also another countries problem… Has anyone seen the US deficit or the UK’s? the have huge debt  just as other like Spain, Portugal, ireland, Italy and Greece, but there central banks have the ability to print money in order to satisfy these debts….. but then again this causes another problem, "INFLATION"….. or HYPERinflation…. I guess we will have to wait and see huh!

  10. Anonymous says:

    im sure Travers has the knowledge to ensure that we do tick all the boxes so to speak with any requirements that they pull out the bag – I cant see him being slightly phased by this latest development 

     

     I really hope Mac keeps well out of this as

  11. Anonymous says:

    We could respond with our own irrational series of edicts, like imposing a Rum Cake embargo against OECD members:

    Send every member of the OECD a Cayman Islands Rum Cake, with a note attached that reads, "Taste Ye, thee last of thine Rum Cake, ARRRR.  Ye morons are B-A-N-I-S-H-E-D!". 

     

     

  12. TennisAce says:

     When people were speculating that all London wanted to do was destroy Cayman’s financial sector they were laughed at.  It is all about getting all these hedge funds into Europe to ensure that they keep the money there.   As we say in Jamaica, everywhere you turn macka jook you.    

    • Twyla Vargas says:

      TennisAce, you know that what you say make sense.  I dont know what is going on in this place but somebody is clearly loosing it.  Why is it that the persons who have the authority, whom ever they may be, stand up and do what it takes to defend Cayman Face.   Something serious is going to happen here unless we decide to stop being a bunch of whimps, who only care about our own pocket.  Good Gracious!!!

    • Anonymous says:

      With all due respect, you don’t understand how hedge funds work. Only the set up and admin is done in Cayman. The management is typically in New York, Boston, London etc, The money in major international exchanges. The money is not invested in Cayman.

      What we have been losing is the admin,  which creates jobs. Halifax and Luxembourg clearly understand admin = jobs. So both jurisdictions offer incentives to move there. Unfortunately many of our politicians, particularly the PPM, haven’t grasped this yet. 

      If the hospital deal fall through, God help us.

       

      • frank rizzo says:

        d d d d d , I couldn’t click you anymore thumbs up so I typed a few more for you.

  13. bradley says:

    LET US FACE THE FACTS:

    The EU backed by Germany and France… and then UK to follow sinc, is targeting us and all offshore centers

    • Twyla Vargas says:

      You know something Bradley, I always heard that there was more than one way to kill a Cat.   Well. I say Skin him if thats whats going to take.

      However, for a very long time I saw this comming, but majority of Caymanians are too passive minded and self centered,  

      Want to do something?, start a war against anyone with them backing you, and see if you wont end up getting your ass  killed.

      • Anonymous says:

        I’ve tried to read this a couple of times to understand what is being said but …

         

        Reality is based on someones perspective. Cayman wants to keep jobs ($) here and every other country is trying to bring it back. Each has its own reasons.

        You can try to fight it or at least curb the pain but I don’t understand this "war" thing that is mentioned. ??

  14. Anonymous says:

    Cayman continually demonstrates that it is a leader in the race to exceed the requirements and conditions of the OECD (a quasi-political academic thinktank with no real enforcement powers).  Perhaps socialist politicians like Gauzes ( whose website describes him as "a professional European politician from the top of his head right down to the tips of his toenails") should be challenged to prove otherwise; or characters like this formally served notice to check their tongues.   

  15. Anonymous says:

    Cayman needs leadership able to think outside-of-the-box and able to shape these initiatives before they hurt Cayman. The current leadership does not seem capable of finding the box and may not even know what a boxis.  

    • frank rizzo says:

      The would-be black listers are making it up as they go along.  Any rational person would be hardpressed to find the box, let alone shape the policy.

      • Anonymous says:

        Nonsense – this proposed legislation has been out in the open and coming at us for at least 3 years. The terms are being negotiated yes – that is why the Channel Islands and others have made sure to get the signoff on their antimoney laundering legislation months ago and Cayman? ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ

        • frank rizzo says:

          You are assuming that the rationale behind the legislation is truly AML, ATF or anti-tax evasion, whatever they choose to call it.  Fact is the OECD and friends want us to jump through enough hoops that we get tired and just give up or convince enough of the rest of the world to avoid us until we die financially.  Next up, the hoop of fire followed by the lion pit leap.

  16. noname says:

    Hahahahaha mannn we just cant win, so much for our financial theory and immigration policy what a Sham. Caymanians another Con plan being played on us.

    • Anonymous says:

      Yeah, you are right.  We should just give up.  All ex-pats can gohome and Caymanians can go back to fishing and making rope.

      Don’t think it can happen?  Do a quick Google search on "Iceland economic crisis".  It already happened to them.

  17. Anonymous says:

    We think Cayman has a budget crisis, with only about $23,000 in debt per person – that Ireland number is crazy. 

    10x the debt per person, wow.

    • bradley says:

      Hmmm… And if we can’t comply with them…

      FULL BRITISH RULE will be the answer.

      I think they got us in the balls

  18. Anonymous says:

    Unfortunately, this is correct.  The "blacklists" have nothing to do with tax exchange information or money laundering.  Everybody knows that it is much easier to launder money or evade taxes using New York, Miami or London (just think of the trillions of dollars and transactions flowing through these financial centers on a daily basis – it is impossible to track).

    The true intent of these legislations is protectionism of jobs in the respective jurisdictions.  Luxembourg and Ireland are the main supporters of this legislation because they think it will help them create jobs and revenue by forcing funds to use their jurisdictions.

    Ireland is in big, big trouble (EUR 875 billion in debt for a country of only 4 million people – or EUR 215k per person – just crazy!!!) and like any desperate country, they are swinging wildly for new sources of revenue.  2012 is probably too late for Ireland, they need cash right now.

    Sort of like Cayman, Dubai, the U.S. and everyone else I guess.

    • Anonymous says:

      I think the Ireland debt is the equivalent of US$875 billion, not EUR.  Still ugly, but slightly less so.

      I saw the same NY Times article this number was taken from.

      • Anonymous says:

        Where did you guys get this figure for Ireland’s debt. the last figure I saw was EUR 81 billion.