Cayman Islands: Premier Speaks About Action Plan
Last Updated: 25 June 2013

Reinforcing our commitment to accepted global advancements against tax evasion, the Cayman Islands today is making public our action plan on the misuse of companies and other legal structures. This plan includes provisions on beneficial ownership.

It is worth acknowledging that through trust and corporate service providers, beneficial ownership information has been collected and furthermore, updated, in Cayman for more than a decade; and that these providers are inspected through our recognised, and respected, legal and regulatory infrastructure.

Furthermore, as recognised in our April 2013 Phase 2 Peer Review Report by the OECD Global Forum on Transparency and Exchange of Information for Tax Purposes, information relating to beneficial owners continues to be readily available to appropriate authorities in the 31 jurisdictions with which we have bilateral agreements.

Today, in support of the G8 agenda, Cayman commits to a further review of corporate transparency, including the use of bearer shares (all of which, as of early 2000, are immobilised and subject to regulation), as recommended in the Phase 2 Peer Review Report. This will be completed by 2014.

By 2015, we will conduct an assessment as to whether centralising information on beneficial ownership and control would be the most effective way to improve transparency, in line with globally adopted standards; and conduct a review of the supervision and regulation of the financial services sector, including category A and B banks, to establish effectiveness of supervision and enforcement of existing rules on beneficial ownership.

In addition to supporting the G8 agenda, these actions are in accordance with the revised Financial Action Task Force (FATF) recommendations on beneficial ownership and transparency. Furthermore, they build on Cayman's regime for anti money-laundering and countering the financing of terrorism, which was recognised in 2009 by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) for its compliance with UN Conventions requirements.

More recently, in 2012, independent research conducted by Professor Jason Sharman of Griffith University in Australia found that Cayman had a 'perfect compliance record' in terms of collecting all of the identify information required by the FATF's anti money-laundering regulations.

The value of supranational bodies such as the IMF, FATF and Global Forum is that they allow for assessment against global standards, including by independent researchers. This ensures inclusive and equitable treatment for all. Cayman therefore agrees with the UK that the development and monitoring of international tax and transparency standards are best placed under the auspices of bodies such as these.

In regard to our commitment to these standards, Cayman will continue its participation in global tax and transparency initiatives. This currently includes our high-level involvement on both the Steering and Peer Review groups of the Global Forum; our request this April to participate in the G5 pilot on multilateral automatic exchange of information, which now has been joined by 17 EU Member States to date; and our 7 June commitment to the Convention on Mutual Administrative Assistance in Tax Matters.

The public record clearly shows that the Cayman Islands has played a significant role as an early adopter of global tax and transparency initiatives. Accordingly, we welcome and support the creation of a level global playing field that builds economies, creates jobs, and protects public revenue in all countries – whether developed or developing.

For more information, please contact the Financial Services Secretariat at (345) 945-5819 or via email at mailto:financepr@gov.ky.

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