New financial services ministry to focus on PR

| 17/08/2009

(CNS): Outlining objectives for the his new ministry, Leader of Government Business and Minister of Financial Services McKeeva Bush stressed the importance of a properly funded marketing and promotional programme to address the reputation crisis being experienced by the industry. Along with the marketing and lobbying initiative he said there would be revisions to immigration policy and other legislation and the establishment of a financial services secretariat.

Bush also noted he was keen to work on encouraging international businesses with a physical presence in the Cayman Islands. The LoGB spoke with the various government departments in his newly formed ministry at a recent financial services retreat.

He also stressed the importance of harmonising all facets of government’s financial services operations. “We are all part of one family, sharing a common goal,” Bush said. “I encourage you to work closely together and indeed, to communicate regularly. With help from each of your organisations added to our partnership with the financial services industry, I am hopeful that we can achieve our objectives.”

According to a GIS statement, the LoGB emphasised the importance of taking an holistic approach, saying that each area would be taken into account when addressing the long-term future of the financial industry.

He said the financial services secretariat would be tasked with developing and protecting the financial services industry, and would also provide research and policy advice to the ministry, coordinate public relations and marketing, and provide legal expertise for drafting legislation.

"In our approach to regulation we must strike a delicate balance between risk management and commercial success,” Bush added. “Our approach to cooperation on tax matters must demonstrate full commitment to the international efforts of organisations such as the OECD (Organisation for Economic Cooperation & Development) and the EU (European Union).”

At the meeting each entity presented its strategic initiatives for the year ahead and learned more about the Ministry’s vision for Cayman’s financial services industry. Participating in the retreat were representatives from the Cayman Islands Monetary Authority and Stock Exchange; the Tax Information Authority; the Registrar of Companies; the Public Relations Unit, the Cayman Islands Development Bank, the Tax Information Exchange Negotiation Team and the Financial Services Council.

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Big Mac took this Ministry himself because it requires someone with Financial experience.

    Having been involved in Banks that failed in the past, he has the experience to deal with any future Bank failures. Mostly he knows the right connections to deal with matters of this type.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Perhaps it is best that the new Ministry focuses on PR, news bites and photo ops as they seem to have no clue of what they are doing in other areas.  At least by focusing on PR they can make it appear that they might be doing something. Let us all just hope that they don’t actually do any more to destroy Cayman’s long term future.

    It is one thing for MAC to say that he wants Cayman to demonstrate its commitment to complying with the wishes of the OECD and EU, but if he actually means it, Cayman is doomed. Even a cursory read through the material coming out of the EU and OECD clearly indicate that they want to shut down Cayman and other jurisdictions which compete with their financial services centres. Why is MAC saying that we are going to help them do just that? Further, the OECD clearly indicates that the so called "standards" and their new assessment criteria are designed to assist the EU and OECD in putting their competitors out of business. 5 years ago MAC had the courage to confront this crap and to secure the interests of Cayman with the Savings Directive. Now he is behaving like he has no interest in Cayman’s long term future andjust wants to make sure that a few rich people in Cayman can rake in the cash for a few more months. 

    It may not be that obvious to many persons outside of the financial services sector, but Cayman is rapidly loosing ground to other jurisdictions which clearly have much better strategies at this stage. The Isle of Man has held its nerve and has been securing full tax treaties  with which to entice businesses to actually set up in the Isle of Man, rather than the suicide note tax information agreements being signed by Cayman. Panama has been able to secure free trade agreements as a means for attracting business to set up in Panama, as a pre-condition to entering into tax agreements, as shown in the agreement signed last week with Canada. Singapore, which MAC has repeatedly said he wants Cayman to emulate, has always completely rejected the approach now being adopted by MAC. If MAC actually wants to make Cayman as strong as Singapore in the financial services sector then he obviously has paid no attention to what is necessary to get from here to there.

    I used to think that MAC would be good for both our financial services sector and the long term future of Cayman because of his drive, but it is now clear to me that someone is pointing that drive in completely the wrong directions. Either that or there is actually no direction at all and MAC is just making stuff up as he goes along with no understanding of the situation.

    We need that directionto be sorted out or there needs to be a petition in place at the moment the new Constitution comes in to replace MAC with Rollie or someone else.  Just in case I am going to start drafting one.

  3. Watchingbrief says:

    Perhaps the Minister of Financial Services could have enacted some of these changes before the collapse of First Cayman Bank! I suppose as a director of that dubious bank he was aware of his fiduciary duties; he just forgot them. Oh and I just forgot I seem to recall he denied being a director at one stage but as we all know that got swept under the carpet.Of all the Ministries he should be in charge of this is not one.

    Let us hope the private sector monitors him. By the way when is he going to tell us about the new CIMA board members he appointed last week and the ones he fired?  It makes interesting reading.Shades of the Carlyle fiasco of last month.

  4. Anonymous says:

    I guess Big Mack pulled a big surprise here. No one has commented although this has been reported for some time now.

    Way to go Big Mack.

    Any more surprises coming.