The Caribbean Export Development Agency, in partnership with the
Government of The Bahamas, recently organised a regional
summit with focus on financial services and how the economies in
the region can grow that industry with participation from several
international bodies, including the FATF and the OECD.
Cayman Finance was invited to represent the private sector in
the Cayman Islands.
It was a good opportunity to interact with some of our peers and
to compare notes – particularly, in the areas of upcoming
regulations and changes that continue to put pressure in the
financial industry globally.
The methodology of the FATF peer review was explained in detail
and is something to which all should pay close attention to, as it
is not only going to generate additional costs that act as a
barrier to entry, promoting the expected consolidation in the
region, but has the potential to discriminate towards places like
Cayman as the methodology is much more subjective than it was in
It is clear the smaller centres in the region perceive the risks
and growing costs, and there were clear indications of a desire to
work together in order to alleviate some of the growing costs
instead of trying to cope with those individually. It is
unclear to me though how effective can that cooperation be when on
a day-to-day basis we all compete for similar business, and we have
made limited progress in cooperating in much simpler way, as, for
example, the way we respond to media.
It was also clear access to top-quality human capital is broadly
recognized as key for this industry, and several countries showed
concrete initiatives towards improving their education systems and
aggressively relaxing immigration constrains of qualified
Cayman, in my opinion, continues to be without doubt the
best-positioned centre in the region and the undisputed
leader. It is up to each one of us (private practitioners,
regulators, and legislators) to ensure we maintain that
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Virtual currency trading value and volume is soaring globally, but regulating virtual currencies and those who provide virtual currency exchange services (Exchangers) is challenging.
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