Archive for December 3rd, 2008

Cayman plays ball on review

| 03/12/2008 | 2 Comments

(CNS): The UK government announced yesterday (2 December) that it has appointed the former Financial Services Authority managing director Michael Foot to run the reviews of its territories and dependencies with offshore financial service centres. The Cayman Islands Government said it would take "an active role" in the review following discussions with Paul Myners the Financial Services Secretary for HM Treasury and the announcement of the terms of reference and the review leader.

 “We have had an opportunity to engage in discussions with HMT directly and review the details provided to date regarding this review,” said Kurt Tibbetts, Leader of Government Business. “As a result of this due diligence, which indicated the review will be serious and constructive, the Cayman Islands Government is happy to participate and support HMT in its efforts. It is Cayman’s experience that objective, independent reviews are valuable to all parties involved and we look forward to working with Mr Foot.”

The review was announced by the UK chancellor Alistair Darling in his pre-Budget speech last month will look into financial supervision, transparency and the ability of the islands’ regulators to manage a crisis. Foot is expected to examine the tax situation in what are described in the UK as tax havens but the UK government has promised not compromise the independence of the dependencies and territories. An interim report is expected before the Budget but Foot’s full conclusions will be released later in 2009. 

“Offshore financial centres must play a responsible role in the global financial system,” Myners said. “‘This review will take a serious and constructive look at the challenges these centres face in the current economic climate, and how they can best respond to these.”

Following last Thursday’s telephone discussion with Myners, Minster Alden McLaughlin noted that the review is more concerned with the Crown dependencies than with the overseas territories but that Cayman will also be a target in the long run as the UK government remains under pressure give the economic crisis the fundamentally causes of which are, ironically firmly rooted onshore.

“Whatever the real reason, given the global economic crisis, it is to be expected,” McLaughlin told CNS.” “This is not driven by local circumstances but we have no difficulty with it and we expect as ever that the Cayman Islands will score highly.”  

No date has yet been given as to when Foot will visit Cayman but McLaughlin said he hoped to learn more when he visits the UK in January.

Last week the Bermudian President Ewart Brown call it an affront to every Bermudian and said they have every reason to be offended and insulted by the news of the review. “What we have is reason for all to take note of the downside of being a British colony,” he said in the countries parliament. “They are a supreme power, who does not contribute one penny to our livelihood, who just announced that they have determined we, and some of their other territories, need a review. They have the authority, by grant of our colonial relationship, to simply announce that they want to come, and we are obliged to receive them.”

The former managing director at the UK’s Financial Services Authority between 1998 and 2004, Michael Foot, is now the chairman of consulting firm Promontory Financial Group. Foot has held a series of posts at the Bank of England during his nearly30 years there and has also worked at the Central Bank of The Bahamas.

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Cyclist suffers head injuries in collision with car

| 03/12/2008 | 0 Comments

(CNS): Police have revealed that another road accident occurred this past weekend when a cyclist was knocked off his bike by a car on North Sound Road, George Town in the early hours of Sunday morning. The cyclist reportedly suffered head injuries which are now being treated Jackson Memorial Hospital.

The Royal Cayman Islands Police Service (RCIPS) said on Tuesday that they have begun investigating an accident that occurred at around 12:10 am on Sunday, 30 November when a cyclist was knocked off his bicycle by a car.  The car and bicycle were travelling south along North Sound Road when the vehicle collided with the rear wheel of the bicycle, causing the rider to fall. The cyclist sustained injuries to the head and was flown to Jackson Memorial Hospital for treatment.

The cause of the accident is currently under investigation by the Traffic Management Unit. Anyone who witnessed the accident is asked to contact Chief Inspector Courtney Myles on 926 0649.

Anyone with information about crime taking place in the Cayman Islands should contact their local police station or Crime Stoppers on 800-8477 (TIPS). All persons calling crime stoppers remain anonymous, and are eligible for a reward of up to $1000, should their information lead to an arrest or recovery of property/drugs.

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Women’s rehab centre opens

| 03/12/2008 | 2 Comments

(CNS): A unit specially designed to treat women with substance abuse problems was officially opened recently by the Minister of Health and Human Services, Anthony Eden. The new Caribbean Haven residential Women’s Wing will offer residential treatment programmes adjusted specifically to fit women’s needs, for up to 12 residents at one time.

 

The unit will be managed by the Department of Counselling Services and according to the Minister it offers women with drug and alcohol problems a chance to rebuild their lives.  “Caribbean Haven’s new women’s wing is a reflection of our unwavering commitment as a government to make effective, affordable and accessible treatment for drug and alcohol problems available to everyone. The community at large has to be prepared to give people another chance for a fit place to stay and work with dignity,” he said. “Without such basics, any of us might fall through the cracks. But the women who access this centre will now have a chance to rebuild, andhopefully to transform life for themselves and their families.”

Dianna Montoya Chief Officer described the Ministry’s vision of, Optimal Wellbeing for All, as believing that there is potential in everyone. “Those who fall outside the accepted norms at some point in their lives can be rehabilitated to become healthy and productive citizens,” she said at the opening.

DoCS Director Judith Seymour said the wing represents a significant step in the journey to improve drug treatment and rehabilitation services in Cayman. “This will ultimately help to improve the wellbeing of all people in our islands,” she added.

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