Governor hopes BO register will be global standard

| 05/11/2018 | 34 Comments
Cayman News Service

Premier Alden McLaughlin and Cayman Islands Governor Martyn Roper

(CNS): Governor Martyn Roper has said he hopes the Cayman Islands will not be going it alone when it introduces a public register identifying the beneficial owners of companies and other financial entities, as the UK will be promoting this as a global standard. There are international efforts now afoot to ensure transparency in the financial sector and to prevent misuse of these services, he told the media at his first press conference last week. This jurisdiction will therefore need to work with these initiatives, “be on the front foot and tackle risks with confidence”. But he said it was important that everybody moves at the same speed towards public registers so Cayman will not be put at a competitive disadvantage.

“It is important that the Cayman Islands is able to compete and compete fairly and has the right to set its own rates of taxation,” he said, noting that the UK wants to see public registers become the global standard, so that when the public registers are established, all jurisdiction will have them.

“The UK’s role is to promote and push that so everybody can move together,” the governor said, adding that Britain feels it is very important that the Crown Dependencies and other countries move at the same speed. “We want that to happen before the Cayman Islands has to introduce a beneficial ownership register.”

Roper said there was time to talk this through and work out how best to protect the local industry. He said that the time line about the potential order in council was still under discussion and it would be an important topic of discussion at the forthcoming Overseas Territories Joint Ministerial Council before the end of the year.

The governor said that he sees it as his job to help London understand Cayman’s position and help protect the local financial sector.

The recently passed Sanctions and Anti-Money Laundering Act in the UK mandates that all British Overseas Territories with financial services industries, including Cayman, introduce public registers before 2020 or have them imposed via the order in council.

Premier Alden McLaughlin has described this as constitutional overreach, and has said that Cayman will not introduce a register that is publicly accessible unless and until every competing jurisdiction has one.

The Cayman Islands Government therefore plans to fight this in the court, as McLaughlin believes that the Constitution does not provide for the British parliament to legislate for Cayman when it comes to domestic policy. To prevent the UK doing this again, he is seeking talks to remove or re-write the section of the Constitution that appears to give the UK powers that could go beyond its reserve areas.

At the press briefing the governor said that the UK is wiling to discuss the Constitution, although the Foreign and Commonwealth Office has made it clear that it feels the current balance between Britain and Cayman set out in the 2009 Constitution is correct.

See the governor’s full press conference on CIGTV:

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Category: Business, Financial Services

Comments (34)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    I “hope” so too. Otherwise, Cayman just made its self an uncompetitive outlier with no benefit.

  2. Anonymous says:

    And I hope to date a supermodel

  3. Anonymous says:

    “Governor Martyn Roper has said he hopes the Cayman Islands will not be going it alone”

    The governor HOPES!? oh damn. I draw no comfort from that statement. I often hope; usually does not work out unless I say I’m going to get it done. I hope i win the lottery – no chance!

  4. Anonymous says:

    Is this the BO Reg that Hairdoo and Aldart said they were negotiating favorably every Jetsetter trip they take?

  5. Sharon says:

    Is there any documentation that the decree given by King George 111 in 1973 after Caymanians risked their lives to save passengers/crew from the “wreck of the ten sails”, “Cayman Islands would be free from war conscriptions and taxes”? If not, what is to stop them from imposing taxes.

  6. Anonymous says:

    Government are bullies.

  7. Anonymous says:

    The BO register is the most idiotic, or purposfully damaging bill ever pushed by the UK. Onl;y fools would subscribe to this. Oh wait..

  8. Anonymous says:

    Two things Governor:

    (1) “It is important that the Cayman Islands is able to compete and compete fairly and has the right to set its own rates of taxation,”

    Who the hell said anything about taxes where did this come from? This comment alone should send you back on the next plane home.

    (2)“The UK’s role is to promote and push that so everybody can move together,”

    Care to comment on why this requirement for the dependent territories was not also applied to the crown dependencies?

  9. Anonymous says:

    Did anyone else pick up on this comment: “It is important that the Cayman Islands is able to compete and compete fairly and has the right to set its own rates of taxation..”

    Is this alluding to Cayman being required to “broaden” its tax base as well?

    • Anonymous says:

      We have already set our own rates of taxation. Your excellency it is call” tax free” look around at the other countries that have taxation, how are they doing?

  10. V says:

    Not a global standard if the US is not a part of it.

    • Jitnar says:

      Not an effective standard either if, like the UK, you can incorporate on line with no hard copy evidence if your identity and no one ever checks.

  11. Slacker says:

    After Brexit, “…the UK will be promoting this as a global standard.” only in their own minds.

    Other than possibly Man U and Wimbledon, nobody will be interested in the UK, as neither the EU or the US, especially under Trump, will care much about what they have to say.

  12. Anonymous says:

    He’s no Anwar Choudhury.

    • Anonymous says:

      …and not even close to a Tom Russell. Alden is having a field day! Thirsting for power, totally unchecked, and no mandate to do so from the electorate.

      • Anonymous says:

        Yes but he poses nicely for pictures – they even have a nice little tea set!
        Where are the tea biscuits at though?

  13. Anonymous says:

    The public talk is that the governor will not intervene in the same sex marriage talk that is going on in cayman now. The governor will leave it to the courts prepare for same sex marriages to be legal in 2019. The governor will have closed doors quiet talks the governor do not want to be out in the front page not in the public. But the governor is in a public press conference on November 5, 2018. What is really going? about the public concerns is the governor afraid of the three musketers the premier, deputy governor and the speaker of the house.

    • Anonymous says:

      Correct, he does not want to catch the midnight plane to London! Best just sit down, be quite and shake your head yes to whatever they tell him. Don’t upset the gravy train old chap!

    • Anonymous says:

      The public talk is that there’s someone commenting on CNS who claims to know the public talk. The public talk is that the commentator is a member of the public and hears and sees other members talk. This is why he or she knows the public talk, and is following the one rule of the public talk: always talk about the public talk.


  14. Anonymous says:

    It would be great if there were applicable global standards for a lot of what the Cayman Islands are already in compliance with. Most USA states are largely compliant, but each state and district offers their own pay-to-play portal. But if you look at say, Canada, they are at least a decade or more behind the rest of the planet – still allowing bearer shares – and somehow get a free pass from the FATF, with no report card update since September 2016. ISED sits on its hands as phony shell companies with smurf nominees are allowed to carry on for years in flagrant violation of Canadian Business Corporations Act. Canada’s Corruption of Foreign Public Officials Act, enforced by a full-time 12-person strong RCMP team, hasn’t scored a win since 2009, despite Canada being the center of the venture capital mining world for the planet. FINTRAC, the 234-person team responsible for penalizing offending Canadian banks that violate PCMLATF standards, hasn’t fined anyone since May 2016. Canada’s legal fraternities and real estate markets in Vancouver and Toronto have been keen to accept all the hot money from around the globe, and are only very recently beginning to ask about ultimate beneficial ownership for commercial property projects with less than 5% down, and near-zero borrowing rates. Canada has to be one of the top 5 permissive and unchecked cash-laundering environments on the planet, with a completely non-functioning regulatory apparatus…where is that headline?

  15. Anonymous says:

    Not only the guilty though. Public information places the legitimate wealthy at greater risk of fraud, having children kidnapped and more. It needs careful thought.

  16. Anonymous says:

    Remember, only the guilty has something to hide. Foreign and local, investor and POLITICIAN!

    • Anonymous says:

      Oh really? Why don’t we install video cameras and mics thorughout your home, and please publish all of your financial details here regularly or anything else the public would like to know.

  17. Anonymous says:

    Something stinks about this whole B.O. thing

    • Anonymous says:

      Hilarious.. truly

    • Caymanian says:

      This confirms why the last governor was replaced! Brits needed a yes man!

      Why is it that a place where we don’t pay taxes is forced to disclose income? Don’t let them fool you that they are after the rich, they are using that as a scheme to ruin our financial industry.

      Wait and see if there are not clauses placed with this to protect political figures only.

      • Anonymous says:

        Wow, what flavor kool-aid you drinking. The registry isn’t a scheme to ruin the financial industry, it’s a method to make sure than money being invested here isn’t a front source for criminal activity for things like terrorism dumbass. As the saying goes if you are truly have nothing to hide you have nothing to worry about.

        • Anonymous says:

          If so then please explain how making such registry, which is already available to law enforcement public benefitting the financial industry?

        • Anonymous says:

          Very true. Please publish your account information (banks & totals; no need for account numbers) in your next post so we know you have nothing to hide.

          • Anonymous says:

            If you were being pursued by a pack of hungry lions and you had a place to hide from them, that would be wise. Not hiding your bank and other financial details from the public would not be wise. How stupid do you think people are? Do you want social unrest?

        • Black death says:

          If that is the case.. the UK needs to tackle their own homegrown terrorism problem and leave the decision making on who we take money from to us. When they have sorted out their own problems maybe then and only then can they possibly help us with ours.. We won’t be holding our breath for the next hurricane though…

        • Anonymous says:

          This selective UK endeavour is a product of their participation in the EU’s 5th AML Directive. Mother remains in quiet violation, as do the Channel Islands and Isle of Mann. We could have joined them, but instead, Alden threw a fit and drew the focus from them to us.

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