Cayman Islands: POLICY UPDATE: From the Minister of Financial Services, Commerce & Environment, Hon. Wayne Panton

Last Updated: 28 February 2017
Article by Hon. Wayne Panton

Since 2013, the government has made real progress with our plans to enhance the Cayman Islands' success. We are understandably proud of this fact, and just as proud that we've accomplished these goals in partnership with industry and in particular, the members of Cayman Finance.

Indeed, during this administration my ministry has worked on nearly 50 pieces of primary and secondary financial services legislation, all of which have been passed by the Cayman Islands Legislative Assembly or approved in Cabinet. That's pretty remarkable and efficient for a Ministry of our small size, and I think we've broken records in terms of both volume and significance.

And to put our work into broader context, within the next few months my ministry will have substantially completed all of the legislation on the list that our country's public/private Financial Services Legislative Committee has been proposing for many years as essential to our jurisdiction's continued success. No doubt we have been moving quickly, but we have no intention of slowing down. With key events on the horizon, including assessments by international bodies, my Ministry of Financial Services remains extremely active because we are determined to continue not just getting things done, but getting things done well.

To quickly touch on some of our key legislative achievements to date, Cayman's Limited Liabilities Companies Law was launched in June and has received a great welcome from industry, with registrations exceeding expectations. Th e popular revamping of the Exempted Limited Partnerships Law and long-awaited legislation relating to the Cape Town Convention are also now in force.

And there's more to come, because we are committed to doing what Cayman does very well: creating innovative, market-leading legislation, and engaging globally on regulatory matters. With this in mind the agenda for the October 2016 sitting of the Legislative Assembly was ambitious. Bills relating to the Auditors Oversight Authority; Companies Management; Trust Law; Monetary Authority;

Nonprofit Organisations; and intellectual property rights, including trademarks, patents and design rights, were passed.

Despite all this activity, my ministry is not slowing down. In fact for the first 2017 Legislative Assembly sitting, amendments relating to a central platform for beneficial ownership information, as well as foundations, should be heard. While all of these bills are important to further enhance our reputation, prepare for international assessments, or for market products and services, another key piece is the Legal Practitioners Bill (LPB), 2016.

This bill has taken the better part of 15 years, if not more, to accomplish and I thank and congratulate both the Caymanian Bar Association as well as the Cayman Islands Law Society for their stellar efforts in bringing it closer to passage than ever before. The LPB would modernise legislation in order to regulate, on a worldwide basis and in line with international standards, practitioners of Cayman Islands law.

In so doing it would protect and enhance the reputation of the Cayman Islands as a centre of excellence with respect to the provision of legal services. Once passed into law, it will position us well for the Caribbean Financial Action Task Force assessment in 2017, as legislation governing legal professionals is included in its scope.

In addition to our legislative accomplishments, we've been more successful than ever with our global engagement initiatives because we have been wisely and diplomatically bold in our positions and in our contributions to the international dialogue. Cayman has been saying for years that we are among the vanguard of international financial centres. Particularly given the way that this government has continued to enhance our regulatory framework, we have stood shoulder to shoulder and in some cases eye to eye, with influencers, detractors and rainmakers.

In April 2016, I travelled to Brussels with two ministry colleagues to address the European Parliament about our tax regime, answering questions in a room of about 60 lawmakers. The following month the Hon. Premier and I, accompanied by colleagues from his office, my ministry and the Cabinet Office, were in London for the UK's Anti-Corruption Summit. There the Premier made a short, to the point, two-minute statement about substantive issues in global transparency that was potent enough to expand the dialogue beyond Overseas Territories, to include countries that had largely escaped broader public examination. His diplomatically delivered speech was supported by interviews given to UK media by government and Cayman Finance highlighting Cayman's adoption of the highest standards of transparency, international cooperation and exchange of tax information.

We were able to stand firm during the UK Summit precisely because Cayman has carefully and successfully navigated the sometimes churning waters on issues as nuanced as beneficial ownership. In fact, following last year's Joint Ministerial Council, our discussions with the UK deepened and in April this year, we enhanced the exchange of beneficial ownership information with the UK for law enforcement purposes, through the Exchange of Notes. The Exchange of Notes became the basis for the Hon. Premier's announcement at the UK's Summit of our own initiative of entering into similar agreements with other countries. Although we have had no requests, our good-faith and credible off er remains on the table.

So in these past three years, we have taken care of business by getting things done. We've done it in accordance with good governance and through effective, respectful collaboration with industry.

In fact, a key issue that industry raised with government shortly after it took office concerned funding for financial services. At the time I cautioned that government had a lot to do during the first three years, and that our expectation was therefore for slowly improving incremental changes. Yet Government has exceeded even our own expectations in getting our finances back under control and as a result, we have now exceeded my initial projections on our ability to improve support to our regulator, the Cayman Islands Monetary Authority (CIMA); and to industry.

We increased funding for CIMA by more than $3 million in this current budget. Similarly we have significantly increased funding for Cayman Finance for stronger collaboration on the jurisdictional marketing plan. And outside of that, we signed on as the sole lead sponsor for a local industry conference that's taking place in 2017.

We've also increased financial services staffing in the ministry. This will go a long way to help us to continue our responsiveness in local and international matters.

I mentioned earlier that we were able to increase financial services funding because Cayman's economy has steadily grown stronger. The metrics tell the story of significant improvements. Growth has accelerated to 2.8% so far this year, and is projected to end the year at 3% overall GDP growth. Expenses remain under control, and we have growing reserves for minimums required for operating expenditure.

Importantly, unemployment continues its downward trajectory – as of press time, the rate had fallen to 5.6% for Caymanians and 3.9% overall. Furthermore, both the cost of living and the cost of doing business are continuing their downward trends from last year as well. These figures prove that government's strategy for improving the Cayman Islands economy is working.

Our fiscal position is healthy, and we are well positioned for business. As Minister, I am honoured to work alongside persons in my Ministry, CIMA, and industry who are fully committed to ensuring that Cayman continues to be compliant with global regulatory standards, while maintaining and growing our commercial success.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.

To print this article, all you need is to be registered on

Click to Login as an existing user or Register so you can print this article.

Similar Articles
Relevancy Powered by MondaqAI
Cayman Finance
Cayman Finance
Some comments from our readers…
“The articles are extremely timely and highly applicable”
“I often find critical information not available elsewhere”
“As in-house counsel, Mondaq’s service is of great value”

Related Topics
Similar Articles
Relevancy Powered by MondaqAI
Cayman Finance
Cayman Finance
Related Articles
Up-coming Events Search
Font Size:
Mondaq on Twitter
Mondaq Free Registration
Gain access to Mondaq global archive of over 375,000 articles covering 200 countries with a personalised News Alert and automatic login on this device.
Mondaq News Alert (some suggested topics and region)
Select Topics
Registration (please scroll down to set your data preferences)

Mondaq Ltd requires you to register and provide information that personally identifies you, including your content preferences, for three primary purposes (full details of Mondaq’s use of your personal data can be found in our Privacy and Cookies Notice):

  • To allow you to personalize the Mondaq websites you are visiting to show content ("Content") relevant to your interests.
  • To enable features such as password reminder, news alerts, email a colleague, and linking from Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to your website.
  • To produce demographic feedback for our content providers ("Contributors") who contribute Content for free for your use.

Mondaq hopes that our registered users will support us in maintaining our free to view business model by consenting to our use of your personal data as described below.

Mondaq has a "free to view" business model. Our services are paid for by Contributors in exchange for Mondaq providing them with access to information about who accesses their content. Once personal data is transferred to our Contributors they become a data controller of this personal data. They use it to measure the response that their articles are receiving, as a form of market research. They may also use it to provide Mondaq users with information about their products and services.

Details of each Contributor to which your personal data will be transferred is clearly stated within the Content that you access. For full details of how this Contributor will use your personal data, you should review the Contributor’s own Privacy Notice.

Please indicate your preference below:

Yes, I am happy to support Mondaq in maintaining its free to view business model by agreeing to allow Mondaq to share my personal data with Contributors whose Content I access
No, I do not want Mondaq to share my personal data with Contributors

Also please let us know whether you are happy to receive communications promoting products and services offered by Mondaq:

Yes, I am happy to received promotional communications from Mondaq
No, please do not send me promotional communications from Mondaq
Terms & Conditions (the Website) is owned and managed by Mondaq Ltd (Mondaq). Mondaq grants you a non-exclusive, revocable licence to access the Website and associated services, such as the Mondaq News Alerts (Services), subject to and in consideration of your compliance with the following terms and conditions of use (Terms). Your use of the Website and/or Services constitutes your agreement to the Terms. Mondaq may terminate your use of the Website and Services if you are in breach of these Terms or if Mondaq decides to terminate the licence granted hereunder for any reason whatsoever.

Use of

To Use you must be: eighteen (18) years old or over; legally capable of entering into binding contracts; and not in any way prohibited by the applicable law to enter into these Terms in the jurisdiction which you are currently located.

You may use the Website as an unregistered user, however, you are required to register as a user if you wish to read the full text of the Content or to receive the Services.

You may not modify, publish, transmit, transfer or sell, reproduce, create derivative works from, distribute, perform, link, display, or in any way exploit any of the Content, in whole or in part, except as expressly permitted in these Terms or with the prior written consent of Mondaq. You may not use electronic or other means to extract details or information from the Content. Nor shall you extract information about users or Contributors in order to offer them any services or products.

In your use of the Website and/or Services you shall: comply with all applicable laws, regulations, directives and legislations which apply to your Use of the Website and/or Services in whatever country you are physically located including without limitation any and all consumer law, export control laws and regulations; provide to us true, correct and accurate information and promptly inform us in the event that any information that you have provided to us changes or becomes inaccurate; notify Mondaq immediately of any circumstances where you have reason to believe that any Intellectual Property Rights or any other rights of any third party may have been infringed; co-operate with reasonable security or other checks or requests for information made by Mondaq from time to time; and at all times be fully liable for the breach of any of these Terms by a third party using your login details to access the Website and/or Services

however, you shall not: do anything likely to impair, interfere with or damage or cause harm or distress to any persons, or the network; do anything that will infringe any Intellectual Property Rights or other rights of Mondaq or any third party; or use the Website, Services and/or Content otherwise than in accordance with these Terms; use any trade marks or service marks of Mondaq or the Contributors, or do anything which may be seen to take unfair advantage of the reputation and goodwill of Mondaq or the Contributors, or the Website, Services and/or Content.

Mondaq reserves the right, in its sole discretion, to take any action that it deems necessary and appropriate in the event it considers that there is a breach or threatened breach of the Terms.

Mondaq’s Rights and Obligations

Unless otherwise expressly set out to the contrary, nothing in these Terms shall serve to transfer from Mondaq to you, any Intellectual Property Rights owned by and/or licensed to Mondaq and all rights, title and interest in and to such Intellectual Property Rights will remain exclusively with Mondaq and/or its licensors.

Mondaq shall use its reasonable endeavours to make the Website and Services available to you at all times, but we cannot guarantee an uninterrupted and fault free service.

Mondaq reserves the right to make changes to the services and/or the Website or part thereof, from time to time, and we may add, remove, modify and/or vary any elements of features and functionalities of the Website or the services.

Mondaq also reserves the right from time to time to monitor your Use of the Website and/or services.


The Content is general information only. It is not intended to constitute legal advice or seek to be the complete and comprehensive statement of the law, nor is it intended to address your specific requirements or provide advice on which reliance should be placed. Mondaq and/or its Contributors and other suppliers make no representations about the suitability of the information contained in the Content for any purpose. All Content provided "as is" without warranty of any kind. Mondaq and/or its Contributors and other suppliers hereby exclude and disclaim all representations, warranties or guarantees with regard to the Content, including all implied warranties and conditions of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, title and non-infringement. To the maximum extent permitted by law, Mondaq expressly excludes all representations, warranties, obligations, and liabilities arising out of or in connection with all Content. In no event shall Mondaq and/or its respective suppliers be liable for any special, indirect or consequential damages or any damages whatsoever resulting from loss of use, data or profits, whether in an action of contract, negligence or other tortious action, arising out of or in connection with the use of the Content or performance of Mondaq’s Services.


Mondaq may alter or amend these Terms by amending them on the Website. By continuing to Use the Services and/or the Website after such amendment, you will be deemed to have accepted any amendment to these Terms.

These Terms shall be governed by and construed in accordance with the laws of England and Wales and you irrevocably submit to the exclusive jurisdiction of the courts of England and Wales to settle any dispute which may arise out of or in connection with these Terms. If you live outside the United Kingdom, English law shall apply only to the extent that English law shall not deprive you of any legal protection accorded in accordance with the law of the place where you are habitually resident ("Local Law"). In the event English law deprives you of any legal protection which is accorded to you under Local Law, then these terms shall be governed by Local Law and any dispute or claim arising out of or in connection with these Terms shall be subject to the non-exclusive jurisdiction of the courts where you are habitually resident.

You may print and keep a copy of these Terms, which form the entire agreement between you and Mondaq and supersede any other communications or advertising in respect of the Service and/or the Website.

No delay in exercising or non-exercise by you and/or Mondaq of any of its rights under or in connection with these Terms shall operate as a waiver or release of each of your or Mondaq’s right. Rather, any such waiver or release must be specifically granted in writing signed by the party granting it.

If any part of these Terms is held unenforceable, that part shall be enforced to the maximum extent permissible so as to give effect to the intent of the parties, and the Terms shall continue in full force and effect.

Mondaq shall not incur any liability to you on account of any loss or damage resulting from any delay or failure to perform all or any part of these Terms if such delay or failure is caused, in whole or in part, by events, occurrences, or causes beyond the control of Mondaq. Such events, occurrences or causes will include, without limitation, acts of God, strikes, lockouts, server and network failure, riots, acts of war, earthquakes, fire and explosions.

By clicking Register you state you have read and agree to our Terms and Conditions