IMF back to assess Cayman

| 08/03/2009

(CNS):  While all eyes turn to Washington and London for the next move in the campaign against offshore financial service, Cayman is currently playing host to the International Monetary Fund, which is undertaking a follow up visit to the island in relation to its 2003 assessment and report. The IMF officials will be evaluating our regulatory regimes against international standards and assessing the implementation of their recommendations. The results of this visit could play a key part in how Cayman will be viewed at the April G20 meeting.

Cayman has persistently rated quite well with the fund, and in the 2005 report following from the 2003 visit the IMF said the jurisdiction had a comprehensive regulatory and compliance framework. "An extensive program of legislative, rule and guideline development has introduced an increasingly effective system of regulation, both formalising earlier practices and introducing enhanced procedures," the assessment team said in the executive summary of the two-volume report.

The IMF said Cayman benefits from a well-developed banking infrastructure with an experienced and qualified workforce as well as experienced lawyers, accountants and auditors. “…The overall compliance culture within Cayman is very strong, including the compliance culture related to AML [anti money-laundering] obligations…" On this visit, however, there will be no new review of the anti-money laundering regime as this was done by the Caribbean Action Task Force (CFATF) in 2007, the results of which the IMF will then use for the report that will come from this visit.

It is understood, however, that the IMF team will be looking to see if the recommendations made in its 2005 report, which included the strengthening of Cayman’s legislative regime for the insurance sector, improvements in CIMA’s independence and staffing levels, as well as an increase in the fines for breaches of CIMA regulations, have been implemented.

CNS submitted questions to CIMA asking if Cayman has been able to meet the IMF recommendations and what sort of rating they expect as a result of this important visit. However, CNS has still not received a response. A clean bill of health from the IMF will be a crucial element in the campaign by the CI government to make sure that Cayman does not appear on any blacklists that are established by the G20 countries next month.

CIMA did say in a statement released on Friday that the IMF team was here and that it and CIMA would conduct a joint workshop for regulatory personnel and industry representatives on the topic “How to conduct stress testing” at the end of their two week visit.

The assessment began on Monday, 2 March, and will continue through next Friday, 13 March, and the IMF delegation is being led by Effie Psalida, the Deputy Division Chief, Monetary and Capital Markets Development, IMF. During the two-week visit, members of the group will be meeting with the CIMA, government officials, and representatives from the financial services sector, CIMA said.

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  1. Ezzard Miller says:

    I am very concerned about this IMF visit and the Governments preparation for such a visit, It might have been more prudent if the Government had spend the necessary time and effort to ensure the full implementation of the last IMF report rather than jetting off to Washington and London.

    I had reason quite recently to do some due deligence on the Governments only insurance company and i doubt that this Government owned company can or have met the IMF requirements.H

    How can the Government claim to be enforcing the relevant regulations for insurance companies if its own insurance company does not qualify and meet all regulatory requirements.

    A fovourable report by IMF prior to the G20 meeting is far more important than any talks held with politicians in Washington or London who are not likely to attend the G20 meeting.