Most Read Contributor in Cayman Islands, September 2016
The Cayman Islands Government has not received a letter from UK
Leader of the Opposition Ed Miliband regarding the Labour
Party's intention, if it wins the UK election in May, to force
the Overseas Territories and Crown Dependencies to implement public
registers of beneficial ownership.
'Cayman therefore can respond only to media reports about
Miliband's insinuations regarding our beneficial ownership
regime,' said the Minister of Financial Services, Wayne
The Minister noted his surprise that a UK elected official, who
should be well versed in the current discussions on this important
topic, would attempt to publicly distort the reality in light of
readily available, third-party assessments and facts.
'In short, Mr Miliband is wrong. How is he not aware that
the OECD, the Global Forum on Transparency and Exchange of
Information for Tax Purposes, the Financial Action Task Force, the
G20, and the International Monetary Fund all disagree with his
broad general statements?', he said.
'Cayman therefore finds itself in the position of repeating
factual information that already is in the public domain, and as
such is available to Mr Miliband and his advisers'.
The Minister noted that:
Cayman fully supports the global
agenda of fighting tax evasion, as evidenced by its longstanding
engagement in the international discussion on tax and transparency;
and by its support of the UK as it significantly contributes to
Cayman's support of the global
agenda is demonstrated by the fact that our current method of
collecting, maintaining and updating BO information through
corporate service providers, and providing the information to law
enforcement, tax and regulatory authorities, is firmly in line with
the FATF Recommendations, as well G20's High-Level Principles
on Beneficial Ownership Transparency, issued in November
'In other words, Cayman's regime – which has been in
place for more than a decade – continues to align with
principles that the G20 countries themselves uphold as the
standard', Minister Panton said.
In light of the evolving, current
international discussions, Cayman has identified specific steps
– including enhancing accuracy, access, availability and
monitoring and enforcement of ownership information – that
will further strengthen our beneficial ownership framework.
Cayman has an extensive network of
more than 70 exchange of information (EOI) relationships that are
in line with the global standard. These relationships include
partners covered by the OECD Multilateral Convention and 35
bilateral TIEAS. Cayman also has a further 15 TIEAS in
In November, Cayman took a
significant step against global tax evasion in joining more than 50
countries and jurisdictions in signing the Multilateral Competent
Authority Agreement (MCAA), developed by the OECD in cooperation
with G20 countries. Cayman therefore is one of the more than 50
early adopters to begin AEOI exchanges in 2017.
The signing of the MCAA follows Cayman's April 2013 commitment
to join what was known then as the G5 pilot on multilateral
automatic exchange of tax information; and the commencement in 2005
of our participation in the EU Savings Directive. Cayman also was
an early signatory not only to US FATCA, but to UK FATCA, both of
which are AEOI initiatives.
'Mr Miliband should specifically note that unlike the UK,
the Cayman Islands has known for more than a decade who owns Cayman
companies, and we share that information with authorities carrying
out investigations. Furthermore, we also share information with the
UK in respect of UK taxpayers who may have interests in the Cayman
'The only thing that remains a secret today is why Mr
Miliband is not aware of all of this', Minister Panton
He added that the public response to Mr Miliband's
statement, as well as comments from some Overseas Territories and
Crown Dependencies, speak quite sufficiently in relation to the
merits of Mr Miliband's comments.
'I invite him to speak with Cayman's Government, in
order to enhance his understanding of our regime', the Minister
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