House of Lords approve bill paving way for BO register

| 22/05/2018 | 60 Comments
Cayman News Service

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon in the House of Lords, 21 May 2018

(CNS): Lord Ahmad said in the House of Lords Monday that the standards of the British Overseas Territories’ financial services on beneficial ownership information surpass international standards and admitted that by accepting a policy of imposing public registers, the UK government was disenfranchising the local democratically elected governments. As the upper chamber of the British Parliament passed the amended Sanctions and Anti-Money Laundering Bill with the inclusion of the imposition, the BOT minister said it was not what he had hoped would happen.

He accepted, too, that the creation of public registers before it becomes a global standard could have a negative impact on the territories’ economies, and pointed in particular to the territories still recovering from last season’s hurricane damage. Lord Ahmad said the Conservative government had wanted to work with the territories to progress issues on beneficial ownership and not to legislate for them without their consent.

He said that imposing public registers on overseas territories before it an international standard now carries with it the risk of a flight of business to less regulated jurisdictions where law enforcement will not have access to the information that it currently does with the systems established in the territories.

Lord Ahmad also criticised comments made in the House of Commons about tax havens, as he supported the territories’ work on transparency and said that they were important financial centres to the world economy. He noted that the territories have been cooperative and warned that the open public register was not a panacea to the problem of global illicit finance.

Nevertheless, despite his feelings and arguments, he said the Commons had made a decision that had to be respected and that the UK would now seek to assist the territories in establishing the public registers.

During the debate many of the peers present spoke in support of the territories and warned of a catastrophe for financial services in the BOTs with the imposition of registers before they are the common standard. Lord Naseby, who set down an amendment that was withdrawn, pointed to the Cayman Islands specifically when he said Westminster telling them what to legislate was a constitutional problem. He spoke of Premier Alden McLaughlin’s consultation with lawyers while he was in London last week, and added that in all likelihood the islands have a good legal case.

Lord Neuberger said that the regulatory standards in the territories were much better than the UK and also pointed out the inequity of imposing the register on the BOTs and not the Crown Dependencies. Several Lords agreed that the UK government should not be imposing laws on the territories, especially when they would have such unfair consequences. Several of the lawyers among the lords also suggested offering their legal services to the BOTs to represent them in a judicial review.

Several of the lords agreed the imposition was unjust, but despite their sympathies, the amendment was supported by the upper house without any changes.

Listen to the debate on UK Parliament TV between 17:16 and 19:12 below:

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Category: Local News

Comments (60)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Forgetting Cayman Islands for a moment: the hurricane-ravaged eastern Caribbean BOTs, that had been relatively self-sufficient and non-draining on the UK public purse (and who have demonstrated eager compliance to previous tax and law-enforcement initiatives), and who currently earn over 50% of their annual revenue from company incorporations, will now struggle to recover from the 2017 season, if they are thrust into a disproportionate competitive disadvantage by naive MPs and curious misbehaving NGOs. How this won’t have longterm financial and social consequences for the whole of the UK is tragically shortsighted. Adding 250-300k people into the financial dependence category will be very costly (and unpopular) for all of Great Britain, already struggling at a 88.3+% debt to GDP ratio…and to what end exactly?!? So that the curious journalists and kidnappers of the world can thumb through a telephone book of obsolete names and historical beneficiaries? I’d suggest that scratching the 6 most-compliant OFCs off the list of 98 global OFC possibilities may have the opposite effect for global transparency and compliance: it will compel the very small minority of bad actors to re-domicile assets (at their considerable leisure) over the next 2 years, and disappear from radar.




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    • Shhhhhhhhhh. says:

      10.28 am you are spot on, and currently the UK Govt. is severely embarrassed by the press highlighting the fact that so much dirty money from Russian oligarchs reposes in accounts in England as well as Scotland. All of a sudden a certain Russian owner of a leading English football club was unable to obtain a UK visa to attend a significant event, and was also asked to show that his vast fortune had been obtained legally. I find it utterly amazing that the UK seeks to put the legally questionable squeeze on the B.O.T.s before cleaning up it’s own act. It’s big stick hypochracy at it’s best!




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  2. Same old, same old. says:

    This is nothing more than the UK continuing its legacy of colonizing a country, stealing its resources and destroying its people, then abandoning it, leaving the natives with nothing. The British have a long history of contempt for the black and brown people they leave in their colonizing wake of exploitation and destruction.
    This will no doubt be followed up with an offer to allow us natives to migrate to the UK as a pittance, giving them another nationality to look down on as third class citizens living on the dole.




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    • Anonymous says:

      Cayman has no natives.




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      • Anonymous says:

        They were here before you were.




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      • Anonymous says:

        England has none either as the Anglo Saxons came over from Northern Germany and Denmark and pushed the Celtic people who were there out to the Scottish Highlands and to Wales




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    • Anonymous says:

      When you have brushed that enormous chip from your shoulder, just consider that those “natives” can always vote to become totally independent. Problem solved!




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      • Truth hurts, but its still the truth. says:

        @11:36 am The truth sucks doesn’t it? You guys just hate hearing it, but quit denying it, ok? You would have us forget the UK’s legacy of exploitation. Pick up a history book that wasn’t written by one of your own why don’t you?




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    • Anonymous says:

      What resources did Cayman have for the U.K. to steal…?




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    • Say t like it is says:

      9.36am Please list all the resources that Britain has stripped from the Cayman Islands.. As for leaving it with nothing, you still have your swamp amd mosquitoes, and natives like you who wallow in ignorance.As for contempt of black and brown people we have numerous coloured representatives in the House of Lords and the Houses of Parliament – how many white expatriates have you elected as MLA’s?.
      You don’t need an offer to migrate to the UK if you have a Caymanian passport, but you may indeed be looked down on if you only move there to live on the dole.




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      • anonymous says:

        CNS, kIndly allow me to answer some of 4.47 pm’s queries.

        A. There has been a veritable “brain drain” since the U.K. allowed Caymanians to live there. Clearly this a part of a clever plot to eventually seize control of Cayman by depleting the number of its intellectuals.

        B. Caymanians are 99.9% “mixed race” (neither black nor white) which is why the racism that exists in the U.K. does not exist here. (You need to get your eyes tested as a matter of some urgency.)

        C. Have you ever heard of the “Windrush” scandal? Evidently not.

        D. How quickly can I sign on the dole if I move to the U.K.?




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  3. @ Unity HQ says:

    Big Mac: I told unnah but unnah thought unnah was more educated and better than me. The English set out to destroy Cayman and me!

    Moses: Come on Mac now now

    Big Mac: Mose try hush.

    Joey: What we going to do? Should I call dart?

    Big Mac: Who?

    Joey: Wha?

    Big Mac: Sus crise tryso hush and don’t call doak. In fact who talking to you! Alden send him outside bout he a minister ole piss tail boy. I know you and your pa never supported me but understand it becos of ole McKeeva why you a so called minister now!

    Alden: Joey give us break

    Joey: This is BS I going get my dad to talk to KT! (Storms off all mumped up)

    Moses: Well at least we got tourism

    Alden: Yeah Mose we need the talk about a few things. You’ll need the handle Gerry and manage his expectations

    Moses: Manage for what?

    Big Mac: I’ll handle the others that need it but we need to talk to CHEC quickly I can’t keep em holding on!

    Moses: This is our best chance to get the dock completed so to hell with what the people want. Let’s Make Cayman Great Again. I got things all lined up!

    Big Mac: Really?

    Alden: But with this beneficial ownership registry ruling by the U.K. will I still get my knighthood?




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  4. Anonymous says:

    Having read lots of the comments it is great to see all the support you are giving to the expats in the finanacial industry which props up this Island.




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  5. Anonymous says:

    Why does the UK always seem to disadvantage other countries, for their own benefit? Time to wake up Cayman, we are no longer in colonial times!




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    • Anonymous says:

      Stop making pathetic excuses and go independent then. UK gains nothing from Cayman and would love it to go. Cayman makes all this noise but in truth knows it needs the UK reputation behind the financial industry. Stop with the ‘we’re not ready’ nonsense. Cayman just wants what it always does I.e. it’s cake and eat it too.




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      • Anonymous says:

        Independence is the only way then you can be truly responsible for your own mess




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      • Anonymous says:

        Not much point in having a cake and not eating it. I’ve never understood why people complain when others, i.e., Cayman, wants things to work out best for Cayman. Its like you don’t want us to eat cake.




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    • Shhhhhhhhhh. says:

      Oh but we are 8.07 pm! It is just that the weapons of choice have changed.




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  6. Anonymous says:

    If the decisions of the Commons always have to be respected by the Lords why exactly does the UK need a House of Lords?




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    • Anonymous says:

      So true and the House of Lords is unelected as well. Just so that the sons of nobility will be able to collect Government salaries




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  7. Anonymous says:

    I presume there will be a fee to make a registry enquiry. Why not make the cost extremely high for that service?




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    • Anon says:

      Based on how well Ahmad articulated the issues, it seems the Cayman team were able to effectively convey their concerns.

      A pity more of this could not have been done earlier and on a wider scale.

      Also, has the U.K. press carried this story? Is this another missing piece?




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      • Anonymous says:

        Defending offshore secrecy hubs is not a vote winner for the Tories at the moment.




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        • Anonymous says:

          The Tories will have to explain how shifting 250,000 previously self-supporting BOTCs into the financially-reliant category is a vote positive. >50% of BOT revenue, derived from perfectly legal and tax compliant incorporations, where exhaustive compliance and exchange-agreements exist, has already begun its export. Worse, the minute percentage, representing genuine bad actor assets, have been given two undemanding years to simply re-domicile to one of 92 non-BOT OFCs and disappear, along with the bulk of legitimate sustaining business that ask only for tax-neutrality and a basic right to privacy offered almost everywhere else on Earth.




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          • The Tories have much bigger problems now than worrying about BOTC’s. The big worry is BREXIT and it is a major one as making the economic argument in favor of BREXIT is a massive political challenge for the Tories.




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        • Especially after the Panama & Paradise Papers which certainly hit politicians and policy makers hard in London. Caymanians did not appreciate the power of these 2 Papers in London and in British media circles. We have now seen the results with the British Parliament.




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    • Anonymous says:

      Exactly if they are allowed to dig into everybody’s business then the fees should be the same as the value of the shareholders interest, whether it’s property, or cash or whatever. However, they should not be allowed to snoop into people’s privacy. What a bloody farce, they are gung- ho about protecting data blah, blah blah, but they are the prime ones trying to undermine the protection. I hope our government never give in to this. The U.K., can go ahead and pass whatever laws they want to and we can ignore them. Cayman can control the portals to allow them to snoop or not.




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  8. Anonymous says:

    TIme to do what they are doing in South Africa, we all know it would come to this.




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  9. Anonymous says:

    So what is your solution genius.




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  10. Anonymous says:

    Ironically the UK left the EU because they didn’t like being dictated to…




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    • Anonymous says:

      So leave for God sake!




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    • Anonymous says:

      Yes they talk about being dictated to by EU but Poland and Irish Republic both have laws banning abortion as well as the English part of the island of Ireland. It is legal as far as I know in rest of European EU members. Just English dislike of the oriiginal homeland of their Anglo Saxon forebears, Germany




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  11. Anonymous says:

    What is going to happen when the crooks start pulling out of cayman? Will people in law firms Etc lose work?




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  12. SSM345 says:

    All the money they seek to recoup is in their own backyard and the same goes for the US.




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    • SSM345 says:

      This is nothing more than an attempt claw back imaginary funds to pay their divorce bill from Brexit and their stupidity in thinking that somehow we are hiding billions.




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    • Observer says:

      2:58: your knowledge or more precisely lack thereof is pitiful.

      If you read the article you would have realized we already have a register — authorities anywhere in the world may now apply to review it — as may anyone else that has just cause to do so.

      This issue is about placing the existing register on the Internet for a free for all.

      This is not an established world standard.

      It is an unconscionable imposition and reeks of hidden agendas of the most despicable sort.




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    • Anon says:

      I somehow don’t think this is directly motivated about money. Not sure what all the hidden agendas are — other than ignorance, block-headedness, and cheap political manipulation for votes.




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      • Anonymous says:

        You are right. Too many commentators are taking this personally against Cayman.

        As someone commented on a previous thread this is an opportunistic vote grab by some second rate MPs against a very weak government, who would have shot this down if they weren’t in the middle of a political civil war.

        It is more that in this instance the BOT’s are sacrificial lambs in the bigger Brexit war that is going on.




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  13. Anonymous says:

    Sometimes the national interest comes first. It is not disenfranchisement, since this decision is one that the national legislature can take if it wishes.




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  14. Anonymous says:

    What a pile of crap. Lord Ahmad and the other nimbies who agree that what the U.K. Is doing is unfair but they did not have the guts to vote against it. We do not need their platitudes and pity.they can keep that for when all the Caymanian who fall on hard times here swarm their territory. If you have a British passport go on, don’t wait for two more years. Go get on the dole.




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  15. Keen observer says:

    Mother Country feels that places like Cayman has become too competitive with them so they are putting things to destroy Cayman.




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    • Anonymous says:

      Dumbest comment today, after Brexit UK will need all the help they can get including from Cayman and Bermuda. Makes no sense at all, except the loony left hijacked proceedings with their mistaken agenda and May needed a deal signed, so they squeezed, she caved in. Pathetic I admit, but please do tell me exactly how this will affect you? Anyone here is pretty much clean already.




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      • Anon says:

        6:44 pm: I agree that the issue as far as Cayman is concerned is not about dirty money. It is about privacy and similar concerns. That is why the Crown dependencies were excluded.

        Why would they be excluded if there were not reasons to have concerns about impacts?

        That exclusion is clear evidence that this is the usual knuckle-headed politicking and nothing more.

        By the way, Cayman is as well regulated—or more stringently—than Jersey, Guernsey, and Isle of Man.




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  16. CaymanPray says:

    These global elites fight each other over big money and power, and it is we the common people (as well in UK and Europe) who are always caught in between the elite’s fray.

    We suffer – except for those amongst us who are well off. Alot of well off folk, merely eat and enjoy life in their little bubbles. But these elites are the super rich (many of them anonymous to the public), and are control by Satan. Yes, I said it! Satan!

    They have a way of control over us through the law, the media, certain banks, smart phones, and the police or military. They are well sophisticated. And God in His wisdom allow them to do what they do.

    So naive Caymanians think they are free or under a democracy because they allow us to vote. But people, its all an illusion. Its a democracy that is limited.

    Sometimes I think the best route for the common suffering people is to band together and create means of basic survival.

    But Oh wait. Cayman, this is more difficult now. Like in the name of fighting crime, you have cctv camaras all over the place. If you assembled its being monitored. The island is a great place now to socially control civilians. Just saying. Satan hates unity and so will do anything to destroy it.




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    • Anonymous says:

      all of that money that has been thrown into the social welfare system that is abused by so many Caymanians and all of that money being stolen by Caymanians from the Govt coffer,s is mostly money put in there from the financial services. I So if you think for one moment this is a rich versus the poor or the wrongs of our society against you, you’re mistaken! we all will be affected by this: rich and poor but maybe the poor first! so stop being selfish and start doing what Kennedy said, what can you do for your country. That’s where your bread and butter is. Disgusting!




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    • Anonymous says:

      Ok, how will this affect you? It won’t…if you think it will that would be a clear indicator of why you don’t work in financial services. I remember even recently comments on here about how all the namby pamby FS expats should go home. Trouble is, if they did you would have to find another source of discontent. That would soon come, trust me.




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    • Smh says:

      Wtf are you rambling about?




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  17. Unity Political Menace says:

    The long road of signing every piece of white toilet paper handed to us by mama and by the neo colonist stooges in the EU has paid dividend our financial industry in the GARBAGE bin wow Highest regulatory standards in the world don’t mean $#!% when you economy is failing and corruption & crime becomes rife.




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  18. Naya Boy says:

    So much for Alden and Big Mac diplomacy big Talk aaaaah boy, when you give up your rights you have to settle for privileges and when your privileges are taken away you get tyranny. This very foolish path consistently preached and touted by our political and colonial stooges has now come to and end hopefully.




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  19. Think before you speak says:

    What do you have to say now Alden?




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  20. Caveat Emptor says:

    Since 2013 Premier Alden McLaughlin assumed he and his PPM colleagues Wayne Panton and Tara Rivers could assuage the U.K. and EU with lots of feather touch diplomacy. What did Cayman get from the Friends of Cayman Parliamentary group in the Commons? The U.K. double crossed Cayman and never intended to do the right thing or protect the country. One does not become a global empire by playing fair with the colored natives. History teaches us the empire take your resources use up what they want and discard the territory by allowing independence on their terms.




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