Cayman Islands slips again in competitive rankings

| 23/09/2009

(CNS): According to the sixth edition of the Global Financial Centres Index (GFCI), the Cayman Islands has slipped slightly in the rankings placing it in 26th place among a list of 75 places assessed in the report. Although Cayman has not had its rating reduced, the growth of Asian centres pushed the island down in the half yearly report which measures centres based on competitiveness. The report noted that offshore centres had come under considerable scrutiny during the financial crisis, and while some scores had increased, it was not by much and rankings of the offshore locations have generally declined.

The GFCI was first produced by the think tank Z/Yen Group for the City of London in March 2007 to rate and rank each major financial centre in the world to compare levels of competition in a number of areas. The index is calculated by a ‘factor assessment model’, which combines instrumental factors with assessments of financial centres from responses to an online questionnaire.

The latest report shows London and New York still ahead, but Asian centres have made what the authors described as a surprise surge to take five of the top 10 rankings. Hong Kong and Singapore both saw their ratings increase and have closed on London and New York. Other fast-growing Asian centres, included Shanghai, Beijing and Shenzhen also posted large rises.

A spokesperson for the City of London Corporation, which commissioned the research, said the results demonstrated three trends.

“Cautious optimism that the global financial services industry is showing signs of recovery, further movement of the financial business centre of gravity towards fast-developing markets, especially in Asia, and the emergence of a ‘Premier League’ of economically and socially interconnected cities,” he stated in a release. "This data was compiled in an exceptional period of volatility in global markets, which explains the wide range of readings.  Of course, we recognise that Asian centres are growing strongly but the speed and size of the surge is a surprise and we are commissioning further research to find out the detailed reasons for this.”

Considered by some as biased because it is commissioned by the City of London and the UK capital has persistently remained at the top of the rankings since the index’s inception, others believe the survey offers an effective tool of comparison as the information used to create the list comes from those working in the sector as well as facts such as office rents, regulations, tax rates, human resources and other key issues.

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  1. Anonymous says:

    "Considered by some as biased because it is commissioned by the City of London and the UK capital has persistently remained at the top of the rankings since the index’s inception"


    …As England crumbles under its own debt…sounds really non-bias…

  2. Fees killing Cayman says:

    Whatever the reasons for the high position of other places, Cayman is slowly destroying its financial goodwill worldwide.  Rollover is eroding the experience of staff and pushing up costs, and fees for everything are being pushed yo the stage that they will accelerate a downward spiral.  Apparently I was told this week that it is going to cost CI$15,000 just to issue some types of lawsuits!  If that is true then that type of headline tax will start rumor mills going amongst our competitors.  This will end up costing Caymanian jobs.

    • Durrrr says:

      The propsed $15k issue fees are not just a rumour – see the draft Court Fees Rules 2009 here: 

      • Cayman Attorney says:

        It is true.  As of 1 November it will cost $15,000 to file most claims in the new Financial Services Division of the Grand Court.  We should of course expect that the quality of service to our Island’s litigation clients (who are in fact consumers of both legal and judicial services) reflects the price reasonably. 

        Let’s remember also that the current ad valorem fee will not apply in the new Financial Services Division, so the end cost could either remain the same or even cost less to litigate here than under the old fee structure. 

        It is a large number, but the value is certainly still there.


        • Rumpointpole says:

          Or they can pay US$2000 to issue a Claim Form in the Commercial Court in London.  It seems more like out and out taxation and cross-subsidy of the criminal Court system.  This must be very bad for Cayman’s reputation.  Does anyone know any other country that charges US$18000 to issue a Writ ? 

          • Anon says:

            Sure it’s $2,000 in London, but if they were doing business in London they’d be paying taxes in London (with which the UK would pay the Judges).  They are here because they don’t want to pay taxes in London. If they need to sue someone here, they can pay a little more than in London to do so to help pay for the services they are using.  For the business that happens here, the choice is a no-brainer.  Cayman is still the jurisdiction of choice.

            • Nonnie Mouse says:

              Most of the parties involved in litigation in the Commercial Court in England are not UK taxpayers, so that argument does not hold water.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Cayman will continue slipping down tha rankings as the incompetent government (not only those in power but the whole system) has created so much red tape and disincentive to do business here.

    The crazy immigration policies, increasing interference from government and discrimination against expatriate expert workers is driving business to rival centres.

    The lack of local talent makes hiring expat workers necessary to carry out the high level business that goes on in the financial centres. The poor education system, the silver spoon entitlement mentality and the lack of motivation to work hard that has been instilled in the next generation of Caymanians, together with the inability of firms to get permission to hire adequate foreign labour has meant that the competitive edge we once had is gone.

    The sharp rise in criminality amongst Caymanian youths is not helping attract new investors and talent to the islands.