Cayman on OECD white list

| 13/08/2009

(CNS): Updated 7:55 (Friday) –– Its official.The Cayman Islands has been removed from the OECD’s controversial ‘grey list’ having signed its twelfth tax information exchange agreement (TIEA) with New Zealand in Washington, on Thursday. The tax deal was signed by the Leader of Government Business at the New Zealand Embassy, to secure a place on the ‘white list’ of countries which have substantially implemented the internationally agreed tax standard as set by the OECD.

In an official statement from the Ministry of Financial Services, Tourism & Development, the Leader of Government Business, McKeeva Bush noted the importance of the signing.  “The Government has met an important objective of entering into several bi-lateral tax arrangements to support our commitment to upholding international standards in the exchange of tax information,” he said.

Meanwhile Jeffrey Owens, Director of the OECD’s Centre for Tax Policy and Administration, welcomed the signing which he said puts the Cayman Islands “alongside other countries that have substantially implemented the internationally agreed tax standard.”

Bush thanked the technical teams from both Cayman and New Zealand for ensuring a swift and productive negotiating process.

"Today’s signing is also significant in helping to ensure the Cayman Islands remains a favourable, world class, transparent financial services centre; a position which we are committed to maintaining in the long term,” he added.

Signing on behalf of New Zealand was the country’s US Ambassador Roy Ferguson and the Cayman Islands delegation included George McCarthy, Chairman, Cayman Islands Monetary Authority, Richard Parchment, Senior Political Assistant and Michelle Bahadur, Senior Assistant Secretary in the Office of the Financial Secretary. 

Speaking about the latest tax deals Pascal Saint-Amans, a spokesman for the OECD, told it was a very positive development. He said the next step was for the upcoming Global Forum on Transparency and Information Exchange in Mexico next month to create a new organization of people to oversee the progress of Tax Information Exchange Agreements.

The Cayman Islands government signed its first TIEA with the US in 2001 but did not sign any more until last year when the PPM government signed a series of bilateral treaties with northern European states. On taking up office in May, Bush has since signed deals with the United Kingdom, Ireland and the Netherlands.

Cayman also has unilateral agreements with Germany, Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Luxembourg, Slovak Republic and Switzerland under the Tax Information Authority Law passed late last year. The mechanism was not recognised by the OECD, however, and Cayman was placed on the ‘grey list’ in April this year in the wake of the G20 meeting.


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  1. Anonymous says:

    Old buddy @ 18.18, this is going to be a long 8 years and not 4 as you stated,PPM Govt. is not going to get back in for right now, i can bet my house and one piece of land that the UDP Govt will be back in 2013..

    • Anonymous says:

      Don’t count your chickens. A week in politics is a long time. Just wait until people see the political victimisation, corruption, cronyism and dictatorship. Poor old Rollie is suffering already.   

      UDP was in shambles after the 2005 election but arose from the ashes in time to win this one. Who knows there may even be another party.   

  2. Anonymous says:

    I can’t believe how these useless PPMers complain because people have to travel to get things done.  Why didn’t they complain when Chuckie went all over the world, riding in limos, staying at expensive hotels, etc?  What did he do, NOTHING!  Nobody would care about a few airline tickets and expenses if he useless PPM government had not left the country in the state it’s in.  Get real people, twice the country has been broke and both times it was under Kurt Tibbetts.  You voted for them, now swallow it!

    • Anonymous says:

      Apparently the political ploy is to make the PPM govt sound so terrible that the UDP can get away with anything by just saying "you wouldn’t be complaining if the PPM had not left the country in the state it is in".  

      You can’t fool all the people all the time. This is going to be a LONG four years.

  3. Say Wha? says:

    What a giant load of pants! So we need to send a team of at least 4 people listed in this article to Washington to sit with one representative from New Zealand who was already there to sit down at a desk and sign a piece of paper. I guess our pension payments will cover the expense so not to worry! Somebody really needs to sit this glorified City Council (the whole L.A.) down and smack them all back down to size.
    What a big headed bunch of power hungry pinheads.
    Could someone please turn the a/c up to 85 in the House and tell these people to get in there and do some of what they get paid for. That’s at least a good starting point.

    • . says:

      Roughly 60% of government revenue comes from the financial services industry…. factor that into your figures and I think you will find it money well spent.  If we dont comply with these stupid agreements we might lose most of that revenue and then the government (and Cayman) really would be in trouble.

  4. Anonymous says:

    Well we are listed on the white list on the OECD website, with this footnote. Let us see how long we stay on it!

    The Cayman Islands have enacted legislation that allows them to exchange information unilaterally and have identified 12 countries with which they are prepared to do so. This approach is being reviewed by the OECD.



  5. Anonymous says:

    Come on now CNS…..that is a very misleading headline !!!

    The Cayman Islands is still on the "Grey list". It remains to be seen if we will be moved to the white list. Only time will tell if we will be moved up or if the goal posts will be shifted before we can be moved up.

    McKeeva should have kept his big mouth shut until it was a done deal but he was so damn anxious to detract attention from his "NO EIA ON PORT PROJECT" story that he just couldn’t wait.

    I pray that this is not another HUGH embarrassment for the country if we are not ultimately moved to the white list !!!!!!!!

    CNS NOTE: please follow this link…

    • Anonymous says:

      You’re grammer is a "HUGH embarrassment"…

      Congrats to the old gov’t and new gov’t on finally getting the job done…some foresight might be useful next time around

      • Anonymous says:

        "You’re grammer" lol

        Wrong "you’re" – it should be "your"

        and its "grammar" not "grammer" — don’t be so quick to criticize, or atleast get it right when you do!

      • anti-spelin natzi says:

        If you’re going to complain about grammar, at least spell it correctly.  Plus,"you’re" is a contraction of "you are", as used above.  I expect you meant to use the possessive "your", as in "your grammar".  Now go pull the board out of your eye…

      • spelin natzi says:

        "You’re grammer is a "HUGH embarrassment"…"

        demfarkin boo-stairds picing on folks agin.  dat spelin natzi gon come doun on u. 

        day’r askin fer it four shure, pesst mi ohf!

    • Hilarious says:

      Lawwdy give them chance to get the list updated.  I think if you look again you’ll see we’re on it!

    • What's the Solution says:

      "HUGH embarrassment"

      is this intended to be "HUGE".




    • Anonymous says:

      Next time you might want todo a little research before you put your foot in your mouth???? CNS was right ,we are on the white lists.  I m sure much to your regret as it seems you would rather see this island sink to nothing only because Mckeeva is at the helm……God help you people

      Good job CNS and great job once again Mr. Bush


  6. Laughable says:

    Its good news in a way but in truth – we never were the main culprits – it turns out those onshore and pointing the fingers are the worst offenders, so it seems a great shame that Cayman and other offshore jurisdictions have had to go to all this time, expense and loss of revenue to satisfy someone who would be better served looking in their own yard for all these dodgy deals wehave been accused of assisting.  And those (many) of you on here who have jumped on the accusations bandwagon can now realise how important it is to be in possession of the facts before pointing fingers.

    The evidence speaks for itself:,%20offshore%20transparency.pdf


    • Anonymous says:

      Regarding the comment by "Laughable":  that was a most meaningful comment.  Cayman has over the years had to bear the brunt of the misplaced outrage against international finance centres, while we were aware all along that the problems are in fact in the big onshore centres.

      True, we all have our roles to play, but while our banks operate with rigorous standards, other big onshore centres, particularly the US, have not been able to supervise and regulate effectively its own financial institutions.  Therein lies the problem.  If these big countries do not make a greater effort to clean up their acts, it will always present a chain reaction down the line.

      All we can do in the Cayman Islands is to continue to be professional and vigilant — but we are just one link in the chain — unfortunately for us, one that is vulnerable to attack by bigger countries’ politicians and media who are looking for scapegoats.

      And let’s face it — small though we are, we are big competitors.


  7. R. Stripe says:

    Congrat’s to all involved!

    Great way to start out the weekend. Wait, it’s still Thursday? Darn.

  8. Anonymous says:

    We are not off the grey list yet! The OECD will do all it can to stop that from happening. On their website today it discussed what was signed on 13 August 2009 and we were not mentioned! Let us hope they mention it tomorrow, if not email them and ask why!!! 

  9. anon1 says:

    Gongratulations to everyone who worked so hard and tirelessly to get the Country to this point.

    As a Caymanian I was embarresed to be on anyone’s black list or white list, now let us move forward together.

  10. Plain Common Sense. says:

    I figured the UDP/PPM stupidity would start this blog. We need to start to work as Caymanians here. We are talking about expats taking over our country and taking our jobs well as long as we Caymanians keep pulling down each other in the proverbial barrel we will get nowhere.

    Remember the same JLP/PNP nonsense ruined jamaica…lets not do that here folks.

    If you can contribute to the debate please do….if it is stupid UDP or PPM comments-please save everyones time!

    Congratulations CAYMAN ISLANDS for getting off the grey list!

    • Anonymous says:

      Exactly! Everything is always UDP/PPM this or that. Like that’s enough about the whole thing ok. God’s willing The Cayman Islands will now be put on the white list, so let’s all be happy about that. No government is absolutly perfect, and you cannot do something that will please EVERYONE. So just stop the whole bickering and just be thankful for what we have, and lets stick together to help bring Cayman bto where we need to be.

      Peace, Love & Unity!

    • Young Caymanian says:

      To Plain Common Sense,

      Running down "expats" is equally stupid and is wasting everyone’s time too.  There are more jobs in Cayman than there are Caymanians to fill them.  Cayman attracts the best and the brightest from all over the world, particularly in the finance and legal world, it is hard for people like me of average intelligence to compete for the high paying and skilled jobs.  I am not qualified to do them. I am constantly reading on these forums that Cayman’s problem is the expats…PLEASE.  Most employers would far prefer to hire a Caymanian  – it’s easier  and no work permit fees.

      We must educate our children instead.  Keep kids in school until they are 18.


  11. Anonymous says:

    bout time Cayman is recognised that it is no longer a "tax haven"

    • Proud Caymanian Export says:

      Yeah, it’s totally awesome!  Now the people who drive our financial industry, which drives our tourism industry, can take their money somewhere else!  Go Cayman for driving away one of the main reasons we have a first world economy!

  12. Anonymous says:

    Anyone can start something, but thank God the UDP can finish things.

    • Twyla M Vargas says:

      ANYONE CAN START SOMETHING, but thank God the UDP can finish things.  AMEN and AMEN to that.

  13. Anonymous says:

    Congrats to Mr. Bush and his government for finishing up what the PPM should have done in their four DISASTROUS, MISLED, MISINFORMED, EXTRAVAGANT, ARROGANT, USELESS, years!  Two times the country has been broke and both under Kurt Tibbetts.  Hint hint blind PPMers.

  14. Anonymous says:

    This is an important step which both the previous and the current government share the credit for. Clearly there will be an attempt by the current government to take all of the credit but one only has to recall that between 2002 and 2005, the current government did not negotiate a single TIEA so lets not talk about shortsightedness!

    Dont celebrate this milestone too much either as in a few months there is certain to be some new list based on some bogus criteria dealing with implementation or adoption or multilateral agreements which is largely beyond our control and we will again be assessed as failing and moved down to another grey list! At that point they will also accept our unilateral mechanism (which we copied from the biggest European OECD country – Germany!) because the leverage and flexibility it gave us will no longer be of any significance.

    Having said that, lets enjoy it while it lasts!

    • frank rizzo says:

      A momentary reprieve as the US, Britain, France, and Germany will be back with their nonsense before the ink dries.

  15. Anonymous says:

    Congratulations to PPM for negotiating 75% of these and congrats to the UDP for negotiating the other * two*!