US overtakes Cayman in financial secrecy index

| 31/01/2018 | 28 Comments
Cayman News Service

Launch event in Washington of secrecy index report

(CNS): The United States has pushed Cayman into third place in the global financial secrecy charts from the Tax Justice Network. The US is now listed as the second largest tax haven in the world, behind Switzerland. The TJN’s 2018 Financial Secrecy Index (FSI), produced in partnership with Transparency International and the Financial Accountability and Corporate Transparency (FACT) Coalition, launched the report in Washington Tuesday, when Gary Kalman, the executive director of FACT, said the US ranking and lack of leadership was enabling the global tax haven industry.

The authors of the report continue to campaign against secrecy in global finance because they say it facilitates financial crime, money laundering, corruption and tax evasion.

“Jurisdictions who fail to contain it deny citizens elsewhere their human rights and exacerbate global inequality,” the TJN said in a release.

Analyzing each of the countries on its list in the 2018 report, the TJN acknowledged in its assessment of Cayman that there had been some changes and said that the jurisdiction had responded in a mixed fashion to the global initiatives that have emerged to tackle the problem of international financial secrecy.

The Cayman Islands remains in the top three, the TJN said, because of the scale of onshore operations and the persistent levels of secrecy. But the report acknowledged that Cayman was one of “relatively few classic tax havens to opt for the ‘automatic information exchange’ in Europe”, though the TJN criticised that deal as “very narrowly focused and full of loopholes” that had hardly impacted offshore business here.

The country report also gave credit to Cayman for being one of the first countries to sign on for the common reporting standard, which will begin to take effect here this year, acknowledged the repeal and replacement of the Confidential Relationships (Preservation) Law.

However, it still criticised the jurisdiction and even noted the drama surrounding Cayman Compass editor David Legge fleeing from Cayman in June 2015 after Premier Alden McLaughlin accused him of treason over an editorial about petty local corruption.

The TJN remains a staunch critic of Cayman and other financial offshore centres, but this particular report and its surrounding messages are firmly aimed at the US. For many years the Cayman Islands has pointed to America as a jurisdiction with far less regulation and controls that this jurisdiction, and now it seems the TJN and Cayman at least agree on one thing.

See the full report here and the launch event here.

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Category: Business, Financial Services

Comments (28)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    All I know is, they dare not add the USA to any list other than “white”.

    Otherwise President Trump and his AmeriKKKan base will throw one hell of a hissy-fit!

    (Trump: “Trust me…we are the whiiitest of white countries you will EVER investigate, believe me!”)


    – Whodatis

  2. Michel says:

    Of course Delaware for one. Yet they prey on us. Same with U/K , EU. Try to open just a bank account in Cayman if your an individual these days. Different story for corporations.

  3. Anonymous says:

    We’re number 3! We’re number 3!

  4. Anonymous says:

    Looks like all that bad media coverage of Cayman was just a smear campaign.

  5. Anonymous says:

    The whole index is wrong, you cannot do anything in Cayman without knowing who is behind it, complying with CRS/FATCA, OECD, EU regs and Lord knows what else. Cayman should not be on that list at all. The US, they should be in first place…you can do anything you want there…

  6. Anonymous says:

    For those so consistently riled-up about Ugland House, it’s been a long-time fact that a non-descript two story building at 1209 North Orange Street in Wilmington, Delaware is the home of CT Corporation, and the registered warehouse of 300,000 Delaware Companies representing $43 Billion in industry from such names as: Apple, eBay, Walmart, Verizon, American Airlines and half of the Fortune 500. No public shareholder registers there either.

    • Anonymous says:

      Okay I get your point but the companies you have identified are listed entities, which means their shareholders are a matter of public record and typically published to their respective websites – see the annual report.

      • Anonymous says:

        Very few of the 300,000 are publicly listed. Good try though.

      • Anonymous says:

        What kind of a numb nut response is this? Please show me where in the annual report for Apple, Verizon or any publicly traded entity you have a list of shareholders… I’ll wait! There is none! Shares trade daily… you think a list of that is available publicly? I want whatever you’re drinking

        • Anonymous says:

          Even SEC Edgar filings offer only partial snapshots of controlling shareholders and principal holdings.

  7. Anonymous says:

    Real country with real economy vs tiny parasite. Hard to compare really.

  8. Anonymous says:

    Woo Hoo! MAGA! They like this is bad news. Funny.


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