Finance sector prefers ‘bankers’ over tax activists

| 12/10/2011

(CNS): Industry professionals have claimed that Cayman’s recent placing as the world’s top Specialised Financial Centre in The Banker’s 2011 Ranking of Financial Centres for the third year in a row shows Cayman’s true stance in the global financial arena. This top ranking falls against a different high ranking on the Tax Justice Network’s financial secrecy index where Cayman came in as the second most secret jurisdiction in the world. “The Tax Justice Network thinks we are a loser and the international banking community thinks we are a winner – I think we all know whose opinion matters the most,” Don Seymour, managing director with dms Management Ltd said.

In the industry magazine’s list, the Cayman Islands beat its second place competitor Guernsey by a clear 8 points, while Cyprus was in third place, Jersey fourth and the Bahamas fifth.

Cayman Finance Chairman Richard Coles congratulated Cayman’s financial services industry for the achievement.

“This is yet again excellent news and a testament to the hard work and efforts on the part of both the financial services industry for delivering excellence in service and to the regulatory authorities for maintaining high international standards,” Coles said.
The ranking of international financial centres is based on data from a range of sources, including financial markets indicators, economic potential and business environment factors. The ranking focuses on the level of international business and the value offered to international institutions seeking to

Cayman’s score was lower than that of 2010, possibly due to the more in-depth questionnaire which was used which impacted other jurisdictions as well, the Survey said.

Coles said this was a sign of the jurisdiction’s strength.

“The fact that The Banker improved its assessment with a more detailed questionnaire in 2011 and the Cayman Islands remain at top with a wide margin is proof that this jurisdiction can hold its own against international standards relating to service or regulation, and I am confident that we will continue to do so,” he stated.

The survey also stated that while New York and London had held on to their previous rankings as the top and second international financial centres overall respectively, smaller jurisdictions were quickly moving up in the rankings. International regulatory pressure was bearing down on the traditional financial centres, making way for smaller, more nimble centres to take up higher positioning, the Survey said.  

“As the world’s leading financial centres continue to suffer from the consequences of the financial crisis, and the economies of many emerging markets show impressive growth, it is only natural to wonder if the appeal of New York and Londonis fading,” one article in The Banker stated.

The Banker said that the regional disparity of the new regulations means that there may be some movement, as banks and other financial institutions look to carry out different operations in different regions, basing departments where regulations best suit that area of the business.

While smaller jurisdictions were likely to come under pressure to implement these rules once they were finalised, there would be an interim period of a few years where certain centres could benefit from regulatory arbitrage, the article said.
“Whether they will be able to capitalise on this temporary advantage remains to be seen,” it continued.

According to the survey, financial centres with the most prospects were heavily biased towards Asia, with Hong Kong in first place, followed by Singapore, São Paulo, China (Shanghai, Beijing) and India (Mumbai, Bangalore, Delhi, Chennai).

The survey also stated that changing regulations in the world’s leading financial centres may temporarily shift some international business towards smaller jurisdictions, but a permanent shift could only occur if these developing centres “offer fertile ground for innovation too.”

See full report here

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Category: Finance

Comments (3)

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  1. New Blood says:

    Thank you Don Seymour.  You have rasied the bar with honouring educaton (The Joanna Clarke Award).  You try to keep our financial services on top and you are pro-Caymanian when it comes to training our young people for white collar careers.  Will you please run for office?

    Only respectable young blood like yours can remove the taint of our crooked crony politicians.

    We need a hero who is articulate and one who can keep us working with mother England instead of embarassing us and forcing the hand of independence.

    Please, Caymanian business leaders.  We need YOU to run this country for four years and turn it around.  I promise your lucrative businesses will be there after your term, but the time is now to step up and replace the rubbish we have had to suffer with for the past decade.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Good stuff, Cayman! It was time to hear some good news.

  3. Anonymous says:

    In other breaking news, it was announced today that used car salesmen prefer car lots to soup kitchens. This is in sharp contrast to a recent survey of the hungry who clearly preferred soup kitchens and saw little value in car lots.