Foot gets unexpected welcome

| 03/11/2009

(CNS): The results of the UK Treasury’s review by Sir Michael Foot have been welcomed by one of the Cayman Islands’ most high profile law firms, which said it believes the results demonstrate how significant the jurisdiction is when it comes to the world financial markets. Maples & Calder said yesterday that, aside from the criticisms regarding the management of the economy, the rest of the report is very positive for the islands and should be welcomed by the financial industry. Foot’s review not only confirms Cayman’s commitment to international standards but also its importance to the UK economy.

Contrary to the claims by the industry body Cayman Finance, which said the report was “much ado about nothing”, the tenants of Ugland House, who have received considerable criticism from the US and in particular President Barack Obama, have said this balanced review should be broadly welcomed, not least because the report specifically highlights the role the Cayman Islands plays in the global financial markets as the world’s leading centre for hedge funds.

Senior Partner Charles Jennings said the review shows how significant fees are earned by management companies and other services providers based in the UK by providing services to international investors in these Cayman Islands funds. This helps provide UK-based jobs and supports taxable revenues in the UK.

“The report confirms how international authorities have reviewed and confirmed that the anti-money laundering laws and levels of regulation in the Cayman Islands meet international standards, and in the case of identifying beneficial ownership of companies exceeds the standards applied in certain G20 countries, such as the US,” Jennings said. “The report also explains the levels of booked bank deposits in Cayman Islands banks, an often misunderstood subject.”

The review explains that much of the money on deposit in banks here comes from US banks, which place overnight deposits with their Cayman Islands branches to enable them to pay interest on overnight deposits, subject to oversight by the US Federal Reserve who regulate these US banks.

“It also affirms that in addition to the tax information exchange agreements with many OECD member states, the Cayman Islands has adopted the EU Savings Directive and Cayman Islands banks already automatically report interest payments on accounts of EU residents to all EU member states,” Jennings added.

Above all, the report serves as an interesting counter to the most recent report from the Tax Justice Network, which ranks Cayman as the 4th most secret jurisdiction in the world, Jennings observed.

“This report convincinglyrefutes assertions made by the Tax Justice Network and others as to the flight of capital offshore by demonstrating that, in reality, both the United States and the United Kingdom are net recipients of funds from offshore financial centres, and not vice versa," he added.

Last week Cayman Finance said the report was not damaging and dismissed its contents and said Cayman needed take no action as a result of it.

Although Foot certainly raises concerns about the government’s economic management and the jurisdictions resilience to the world economic crisis, he acknowledges that Cayman is the only overseas territory to have enshrined borrowing limits in legislation and offers no other criticisms of Cayman and its offshore industry.

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    So!. Looks like irrespective of how much we try to resist the UK they are in fact taking over the Worlds Financial Activity.

    This means that some of the useless citizens who are here will go back home now. Hip Hip Horraaaaaaaaaaaaayyyyy.

    Don’t get me wrong we have some very nice citizens from the UK and I’m not gonna lie, I have a fews top notch friends who are from the UK and they are nothing compare to some of these you meet and work with in the private sector, Good God as free as it is to have manners some of them think hard to use it, you would have sworn it was costing a million bucks.


    • Cayman First says:

      Thanks for the team-building and collaborative contribution to our mutual survival and success.

      Care to shoot our other foot now?

  2. Anonymous says:

    The Foot Report came out last Thursday and Mr Jennings  springs in to action six days later. Par for the course for lawyers I suppose.

    I am not suggetsing there is anything petty about this Maples & Calder response but if Mr Travers had welcomed the report woudl Mr Jennings have opposed it?

    Also am I not correct in thinking that Mr Travers commented to the UK media that Foot actually highlights many of the good things about Cayman?


    • Anonymous says:

      I would agree that there is a sense of sour grapes from Maples , I would rather have Tony Travers fighting our corner as he does so with integrity and sincerity that sadly appears to be lacking elsewhere . 

      The other point is that Tony is the most qualified person there is and these pretenders to the throne arent qualified to lace his boots !!


  3. Anonymouse says:

    Whilst we all are fighting with the UK regarding its objective towards the Cayman Islands Financial Industry, it appears that the UK is winning.

    A report from Bloomberg News this morning stated that the UK has now taken over first place from New York as the Worlds Financial Center.

    So!. Looks like irrespective of how much we try to resist the UK they are in fact taking over the Worlds Financial Activity.