Bush grilled about UK-Cayman relationship

| 16/10/2018 | 36 Comments

(CNS): Eric Bush was asked if the Cayman Islands was on a collision course with the British government over the issue of beneficial ownership when he faced questions from UK members of parliament on Tuesday, when he appeared before the House of Commons Foreign Affairs Select Committee. The committee is reviewing Britain’s relationship with all its territories, which were invited to submit contributions about potential improvements and give evidence this week. One of Cayman’s stated priority suggestions is protection from “future constitutional overreach” by the UK parliament, triggered by the beneficial ownership row, which was a key part of the questioning.

Bush, the Cayman Islands representative in London, argued that Cayman shared the same goal as Britain in fighting money laundering, terrorist financing and corruption, but the recent act in the British Parliament that has led to the potential imposition of a beneficial ownership register betrayed years of constructive conversation.

He pointed out that Cayman had already come to an agreement with Britain, and it was part of a disconnect in the management of the relationship between the two governments that led to the disbelief on the Cayman side over the amendment to the sanctions and anti-money laundering legislation and the frustration in the UK parliament about what Cayman does.

Call 927-8614 to book this ad space

Bush did not say definitively when asked by several members about whether or not Cayman would abide by an order-in-council.

He told member Mike Gapes, MP (Lab) that the conversations between Britain and Cayman continued. Bush said he was not qualified to answer whether or not the UK would have to trigger the order-in-council to make Cayman comply, and stressed that the Cayman Islands had until the end of 2020 before the legislation passed in the UK required the territories to implement public registers.

When Gapes asked if the comments by the Cayman Islands premier about not sitting quietly and accepting the plans for a public register indicated Cayman was on a collision course with the British government and the parliament, Bush said he could not answer that. The Cayman Island UK-based representative said the premier sets government policy but he was a civil servant and “it was not for me to say”, when asked if the Cayman government would accept the British legislation.

Chair of the committee, Tom Tugendhat pointed out that some BOT’s like Cayman arguably had better quality information on their registers and it was clear that there is a lot the UK could learn from them, but he said the change in attitude was no longer about tax evasion but national security.

Cayman News Service

Eric Bush answers questions from the House of Commons Select Committee

Focusing on Russian money in particular, he pointed out that some funds going through offshore centres were now being used in a way that presented a security threat way beyond tax dodging. He said some of the dirty money was being spent on undermining Britain and its allies and interfering with the fabric of society.

“This is no longer a financial matter but a national security matter,” he said, as he sought to explain why parliament had acted as it had with the amendment to the Sanctions and Anti-Money Laundering Bill.

In addition to dealing with the issue of public registers, during his appearance Bush also spoke about Brexit, how the FCO deals with territories, Cayman’s strong connection to Britain, same-sex marriage, global Britain, the contingent liability and the state of the islands’ finances, as well as the need for the constitutional relationship between the UK and Cayman to be reformed.

In a press release about Bush’s appearance, Premier Alden McLaughlin said the government welcomed the opportunity to contribute to the review.

“There are few such opportunities for us to actively contribute to open discussions about our place in the United Kingdom family of nations, and in light of recent questionable legislative activities, it is of paramount importance to us to review and improve our constitutional relationship with the United Kingdom, ” he said. “As a small Islands state we punch well above our weight as a leading place to live, visit and do business. To assure this, we understand the need to be outward facing to global opportunities and challenges.”

The premier’s office also revealed the list of submissions it made in writing to the committee. As well as safeguards from constitutional overreach the Cayman government made the following suggestions:

  • The UK Government should facilitate Ministerial engagement from the Government of the Cayman Islands with requisite UK Government ministers and departments, so the international community and relevant forums are reassured we are being represented in keeping with the UK’s obligations.
  • An invitation for the UK Government to review ministerial responsibility in relation to the Government of the Cayman Islands, including designation of ministers in each relevant department to ensure total cross-Whitehall participation as required.
  • That the Cabinet Office work to integrate the British Overseas Territories requirements into the existing COBRA Civil Contingencies frameworks and engage with British Overseas Territory Representatives in London on a regular basis as well as in emergency situations.
  • That the UK assess the suitability of moving to the Australian State Governor appointment process whereby the Crown directly appoints the Governor instead of the FCO and the appointment of the Governor be subject to the veto of the Government of the Cayman Islands.
  • That the Cabinet Office, through the Commonwealth Secretariat, make every effort to involve the Government of the Cayman Islands on all elements of Commonwealth engagement, with the exception at this time of full membership.
  • That every effort be made by the UK Government to improve the standing of the position of the British Overseas Territory Representative.

Bush’s full appearance above is on UK parliament TV.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Tags: , , , , ,

Category: Business, Financial Services, Politics

Comments (36)

Trackback URL | Comments RSS Feed

  1. Anonymous says:

    Come on CNS, had 3 friends post comments and none of them appeared. This was an excellent example of CIG incompetency where they need their hands to he held for simple questioning.

    Stop protecting idiocy CNS, let comments say what they want, the CIG gets to spout out their garbage while we have to pretend it is intelligible.

    CNS: There are plenty of critical comments here. You and your friends must have crossed a line.

    • Anonymous says:

      Why dont you post what are those “lines”. You are sounding like the CIG. Keeping the rules silient like a plantation.

      CNS: The “lines” are posted the CNS Comment Policy, which is linked at the top of the page. The fact that this policy exists and where to find it is stated above the comment submission box, which is as clear as I can possibly make it. However, assessing the comments is largely subjective, which cannot be helped. I don’t know if this applies to your comments, but some on this thread were deleted because they were ad hominem attacks rather than criticisms of Bush’s job performance.

  2. Gob smacked says:

    Can somebody please explain to me why Eric Bush was chosen to debate beneficial ownership on Cayman’s behalf in the UK House of Commons?? Am I dreaming this? Are you freaking serious Cayman government? Is Eric Bush a qualified attorney with years of Cayman corporate services experience? No. Is Eric Bush at least a qualified accountant with year’s of experience in Cayman’s financial industry, so at the very least he has had some high level exposure to the industry? No. Does Eric Bush have ANY Cayman financial industry experience whatsoever?? NO! Then what he heck is he doing talking about beneficial ownership in the UK House of Commons?? This is completely and totally irresponsible!

    • George Towner says:

      Calm down. Take it easy. Its not just Eric attending the House of Commons. Remember his role is to represent the Cayman Islands. He will not be speaking his own mind. Eric is articulate, vocal, and able to speak on our behalf.

      • Gob smacked says:

        @ George Towner – Are you serious? The debate over making Cayman’s BO registry is as serious as life and death for this country. Cayman’s argument to the UK needs to be made by someone that knows what the heck they are talking about, and at a high level! This isn’t something for some mouthpiece to debate!

  3. Anonymous says:

    These guys are Bullies Mr. Bush. Hope you hold your own like you did. This is dispicable how they treated you with their tactics.

  4. Anonymous says:

    Eric’s “Global Britain” BS will not work because the English will always consider themselves as superior to all others in “Global Britain”.

  5. Anonymous says:

    The Global Britain card was played too many times by Mr. Bush.

    It’s in our best interest to be self-sufficient so these out of touch overlords can’t pull the “remember that time back in 2009 when we had to give you permission to borrow”. Look at how the grinning fat cat politician had to backpedal on his point about concerns about loss of EU funding when Eric said we don’t ask for any money and he shrunk away saying well I have a letter from Alan Duncan…

    Cayman is not 1950’s Africa.

  6. Anonymous says:

    A highly paid professional grovelor.

  7. Anon says:

    Mr. Bush was being very nice to these jerks and they just started to treat him like crap. These are people that are giving all of their funds to Syrian refugees. It is ok Mr. Bush. You come on back to your island and you dont have to put up with these jerks and a holes. They were constantly gas lighting you.

  8. Anonymous says:

    “Focusing on Russian money in particular, he pointed out that some funds going through offshore centres were now being used in a way that presented a security threat way beyond tax dodging. He said some of the dirty money was being spent on undermining Britain and its allies and interfering with the fabric of society.” Ummm correct me if I am wrong but, wouldn’t the UK adopting better registers like we already have in place that the “threat to national security” would be removed and the “undermining of Britain and it’s Allies and the interfering with the fabric of society” would end?

    Gotta love the do as I say not as I do. We had the den of thieves reputation and grew out of it by forward thinking in financial regulations and practices. Perhaps the UK should realize their own faults and endeavor to correct them to mend the fabric of society.

    • Anonymous says:

      The goal post has been moved once again. No matter what Cayman does it will never be enough in their eyes.

      National Security was not the reason for the vote to enforce a Public Register. If it had been evidence would have been presented to Cayman and the public to justify the vote which was purely political opportunism.

      Also the fat cat politician touting the higher standard clearly overlooked that there is no need for the Crown Dependencies to adhere to the same standard and that the move to force the OTs to do so is therefore discriminatory.

  9. Thy will be done says:

    I tuned out a soon as I heard the bit about “moral living”. I’ve never seen such immoral behaviour as goes on and is widely accepted as here. Not talking about sexual preference either. The ones that profess about moral living seem to be the worst offenders and the ones that claim their sins are forgiven in a house of worship every weekend.
    Without oversight from our mother country where do you think we’d be in short order. My guess would be that it would be flat out anarchy in a heartbeat. I’m not implying UK is squeaky but the alternative is daunting at best.

  10. Anonymous says:

    I don’t want our corrupt regimes to have veto power over a Governor appointment. Clearly that’s democracy’s last hope and why our last one was send back and hasn’t yet been replaced.

  11. Anonymous says:

    It’s not a closely-guarded secret that mother UK are themselves out of compliance with their own UBO regime, not of their creation, rather forced upon them by the EU. Their own law attempting a haze of compliance deliberately conflates nominee signing authorities with UBOs to weasel around the disclosures required under the EU’s 5th Anti-Money Laundering Directive. We might have read their law first and then adopted their language via a second UBO Registry, instead of sending amateur negotiators and throwing all the toys out of the pram. Yet, here we are.

  12. Anonymous says:

    Nothing new! Cayman was the center of the financial transactions relating to Reagan’s Iran Contra deal. Adnan Khashoggi came here and met with Eurobank officials and did that deal!

    So where were the Brits then??!

  13. Anonymous says:

    Now its about “National Security”. They will not stop until the only foreign currency being transacted is a tourist given you a tip, for bringing them a drink.

    National security my ass.

    • And says:

      when you think of it Russia is not the only Security threat the UK and it’s territories have it is also the Arabs, the Chinese and the Islamists.so in keeping with the current dominant philosophy of protectionism of the Mother Country, why don’t they just make us a State or parish of Great Britain that way, they don’t have to kiss us and screw us at the same time.

    • Anonymous says:

      The most obvious irony is that we already have a true UBO Registry with full Law Enforcement access.

  14. Anonymous says:

    We do not have anything to worry about because we will be under the umbrella of protection of China once CHEC and Decco get things going. Our leaders will guide us.

  15. Anonymous says:

    Useless. Ducking questions he should have had answers to. He’s supposed to be our representative in London. He should be authorised to make political representations on behalf of the government. What is the point to him and his position otherwise?

    • Anonymous says:

      No, just scared to admit to the UK that the policy of CIG is to maintain discrimination.

    • Anonymous says:

      He doesn’t have the authority to answer those questions. I didn’t elect him. Come to think of it, I didn’t elect this Unity team either!

  16. BELONGER says:

    Good representation Eric. A good video to watch.

    A great admission by the Chairman of this committee was that the Cayman Islands and a number of the overseas territories have better Know Your Customer standards that his own U.K. financial institutions.

    I just opened a small business account at a local bank a couple of weeks ago and had to fill out a total of 29 pages of requested info.

    How about that !!

    • Anonymous says:

      The Brits only pay compliments like that when they are about the knife you.

    • Anonymous says:

      Corporate accounts at some institutions are still taking 3-6 months to open, though I’m not sure we should be too proud of that!

  17. Jotnar says:

    Yep, the answer to the Russian state channeling money through offshore centres is public registers. Cause the security services and law enforcement who have access to the registers already wont be able to find it, only journalists and members of the public. Sounds right. Doesn’t explain why the Russians would bother to use offshore though when there is zero checking on claimed beneficial owners on the English register, or they could just use a Scottish limited partnership, or a trust, or heaven forbid, just issue state issued false identities. Mr Tugenhat is either a simpleton or thinks we are.

  18. Anonymous says:

    Look no further than the Brac

  19. Anonymous says:

    they’re saying Russians are using Cayman Islands to Lauder their money for weapons, I guess that’s what World War III will be about and guess what cayman we are the centre of it all!

    Good Night Hannah

    • Anonymous says:

      I don’t doubt anything bad/stupid that I hear about our illustrious leaders.

      • Anonymous says:

        True to God ,,I wonder if the leaders of these islands have any fear of God in them ? How do they sleep at night ? I’m glad that we will answer one day ,,,oh my beautiful Cayman Islands .

        • Anonymous says:

          I do love the modern Christian philosophy

          ” I don’t have to worry about this because my God will do all the punishing for me”

          and you wonder why people are put off by organized religion

          “God loves you and can forgive all sins, but if you don’t love him back you will burn in hell, have a blessed day”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.