Rivers calls for greater effort on perception problem

| 23/04/2018 | 29 Comments

(CNS): The financial services minister has called on the sector to work with government to do more to address the perception problem that surrounds the industry overseas. Tara Rivers said that historically not enough was done to correct myths and misconceptions which have been allowed to fester because of those failings. Speaking at a Chamber of Commerce event last week, Rivers said the perception problem was much more of a challenge than keeping up with the regulatory standards.

Urging the sector to advocate for the industry, given the massively enhanced budget her department secured in the latest spending round, Rivers said it was dangerous for others to define Cayman’s story.

“Our biggest challenge right now… is not about regulatory compliance; it is a perception problem,” the minister said. “A perception problem which, as an industry, we have allowed… to linger… and fester. As those of us who know better, either have not taken the time or in some cases, quite frankly, couldn’t be bothered to address the misconceptions… We have a great story to tell… but collectively we must do more to tell our story.”

Her call comes as Cayman works on meeting the requirements of the EU screening process that saw Cayman placed on a grey list last year, which need to be addressed to avoid the jurisdiction being placed on a potential black list. The government has not spelt out to the public exactly what the European Union assessors are looking for to meet their latest requirements, but Rivers and other government officials, including Governor Anwar Choudhury, have said that they are continuing with the discussions and they are fully aware of what is required.

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Category: Business, Financial Services

Comments (29)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Oh dear, it looks like the UK is going to impose a public register now anyway.

  2. Anonymous says:

    The “perception problem” is the direct result of the smear campaign that the US and EU have been engaged in for the past 40 years. It’s the typical tactic employed throughout history. Smear those people over there as a distraction to divert attention away from what we’re doing over here. Trump and his ilk are currently employing this tactic in America. “Look at those raping Mexicans. Look at those dangerous immigrants. Look at those violent black activists.” Meanwhile Trump and his croonies sexually harass and assault women, then pressure them into silence with hush money and threats to destroy their lives. FATF, OECD, LMNOP, XYZ….these “initiatives” to make “tax havens compliant” are nothing more than bullying tactics to pressure the competition into passing legislation that will make it more difficult for the competition to compete. Today, right now, the due diligence that is required to do business in the Cayman Islands is more arduous than what is required in New York, London, and the EU. It is more difficult to open a bank account in Cayman than practically anywhere in the world. The US has just surpassed the Cayman Islands as the second largest tax haven (https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2018-01-30/u-s-seen-as-world-s-second-biggest-tax-haven-after-switzerland), yet the US does not have a beneficial ownership registry, and does not have to abide by the many initiatives that it forces the Cayman Islands and other competitors to abide by!

    What the Minister, and Cayman Finance, and our leaders need to do is start pushing back. Launch a worldwide media campaign to expose the truth, that it is far more difficult to launder money or finance terrorism via the Cayman Islands than it is via the US or UK or EU. Make it known that this “perception” is all about eliminating the competition under the guise of cleaning up those dodgey tax havens.

    The US, EU and UK should put their money where there mouths are and sign up to the same initiatives and enact the same legislation that they force Cayman to do!

    • Anonymous says:

      I disagree. Trying to not be known for something by publicly denying it (and thus drawing more attention to it) is known as “the Streisand effect”.


      Imagine someone accused you of being a pedophile. You don’t fight it by holding a press conference and publicly denying you’re a pedophile, do you? You do not take out ads in the paper saying “ I am not a pedophile!”.

      The only way for Cayman to get over its reputation as a tax haven is to become known for something else which then displaces that image as the primary association in the minds of the public.

      This is a particular problem in Europe because so few people visit these islands compared to the States where we are at least well known as a tourist destination.

      We could become known as the most eco friendly island in the world. A playground of celebrities. A centre for tech innovation.

      Basically find another reason to make news and trumpet that instead of futile denials.

      Sadly I doubt we will commit to being known for anything else unless and until it’s too late to save our financial services.

    • Shhhhhhhhhh. says:

      X actly! Ask them about the many billions of dirty money from Russian corruption that reposes in the UK banking system! Oh, and real estate, football clubs etc. etc.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Yep, reputation is the most valuable asset. Once it is gone, it is gone for good. The country that is unable to manage its own waste is worrying about perception problems.

  4. Anonymous says:

    With due respect, isn’t it the job of the Financial Services Minister to engage and challenge these perceptions on behalf of the industry…by hiring PR firms that work with media, and file lawsuits against those printing falsehoods? Why is she wasting air lecturing the victims of her non-performance? They already know what the problem is! Is she unaware that firms like Appleby are forced to launch their own campaigns against stolen data while Tara’s Ministry wonders what is expected of them? We’re only an easy target because we never push back – a consequence of Ministers not suited for purpose and not knowing their responsibilities.

  5. Scotch bonnet pepper says:

    The problem their Franky sound ole boy there were some in his very own party who were quite relieved by his departure. Far too aloof and flagrantly detached and devoid of feelings and support for his own people,for their taste.It was so bad they would rather do a deal with someone they deem a corrupt nemesis . He made way for this Unity Gang we See today.

    • Anonymous says:

      How that pepper don’t burn your fingertips off when you type so much BS scotch bonnet? you cant be talking about the man who has done more for Caymanians than you could do in ten lifetimes? The one who shows more empathy and sincerity and genuine care for people than just about any person you could point out? I bet you are just one of those sorry souls who cant understand what motivates him to be good to everybody without expecting something in return.

    • Sound Frank says:

      Panton did what he saw as right for the majority of Caymanians and was never swayed by money. In doing so he really didn’t care if he was stepping on toes nor did he bother much with arguing his case on social media to those who wished him ill. He didn’t much care for politricks and this was his downfall. He’s not aloof, just likes to get on with things and ignore the tittle-tattle of the average ill-informed oik posting here and elsewhere.

  6. Sound Frank says:

    The problem is most of our elected officials have no deep understanding of their respective ministries, especially Tara. To do the job properly, as Tara well knows, would involve her stepping down from this ministry and putting someone in her place who genuinely understands it, knows all of the factors which make up our financial services, has a long-term strategy and meanwhile can work out a suitable PR plan for the mid-term. Ladies and gentlemen I give you…… Wayne Panton.

    • Anonymous says:

      Instead Newlands has Anthony’s pet as his replacement. How shortsighted we are as an electorate.

      • Karl Gustav says:

        Better than another foreign stooge who could not and would not look out for those who elected him to office. He found out the hard way too.Cayman First

      • Anonymous says:

        The majority of voters in Newlands voted in who they wanted. Wayne Panton could not even present a legal practitioners bill that would be favorable to Caymanian lawyers. So what makes you think he was the right person?

  7. Financial Rapist says:

    Cayman needs to embrace its financial piracy status and stop pretending to be this squeaky clean merchant who finances those nasty old scallwags raping and pillaging the financial world we all know is just as nasty and dangerous as those who are behind it.

  8. Cayman Planters says:

    Dearest minister T you please check wid Mother dearest and her sleeper agents/provocateurs who consistently play this double game here and abroad when it suits them or its convenient. Yes and like a bastard child dangles us out there to the total broke Big bad toothless and useless wolf the EU in the great prize give away even after Brexit too. Who’s loyalist native colonial donkeys foolishly believe they are equal partners in this great big financial wild kingdom and jungle. When the truth be told they are slaves dressed up as pirates in fancy clothes. Aaah poor you Tara that perception is bigger game than us all in Cayman and we have absolutely no control over it either. When we stop propping and supporting this colonial regime it may change and we will get our backwater status by them I guess??? The song says yes I am the greater pretender pretending you are not around.

  9. Anonymous says:

    Isn’t the role of the industry to actively hide the fact that the jurisdiction is a tax haven that helps the super-rich and corrupt keep their wealth from onshore taxation?

  10. Say it ain’t so says:

    I hope she does better with this ministry than the last ministry she headed. I have my doubts…….

  11. Anonymous says:

    I thought that was the job of Cayman Finance after getting USD 1 million in the budget for PR services and promotion on the financial services industry.

  12. EYES WIDE SHUT says:

    Minister Rivers please tell us what Cayman needs to do to comply with the shifting EU goal posts, what commitments have made and what must be done to remove Cayman from the EU “Grey List”?

    One cannot ask industry for assistance then fail to share important details with the country on the way forward.

  13. JTB says:

    I perceive the problem with Tara Rivers to be that she stole my pension

    • Anonymous says:

      There are no pensions…ever! That ponzi scheme bolted a long time ago. No one wants to admit it, but try getting your money.

      • Anonymous says:

        So your accusation is that every pension provider has stolen your money? What color is the sky in your paranoid world?

  14. Anonymous says:

    She is awake ???? :()


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