CIG still waiting on blacklist decision after EU trip

| 18/01/2019 | 8 Comments
Cayman News Service

Premier Alden McLaughlin, Minister Tara Rivers, Attorney General Sam Bulgin with Gael Perraud (CLICK TO ENLARGE)

(CNS): After around 13 meetings with various European Union leaders and technocrats, as well as officials from direct member states, the Cayman Islands delegation led by the premier is still waiting to hear whether this jurisdiction has “passed muster” to prevent any more blacklisting. Premier Alden McLaughlin, accompanied by Financial Services Minister Tara Rivers, Attorney General Sam Bulgin and government officials, will be leaving Europe this weekend to go to New York, but a press release from his office indicated that the team had met with dozens of people in an effort to press home the message that Cayman is compliant with all international standards.

“Whilst the EU delegation was not at this stage able to provide any insight on whether the Cayman Islands had passed muster and would avoid being blacklisted, they did not mention anything glaring that has so far concerned them,” McLaughlin said in the release. “However, we are taking no chances.”

He said the EU officials told the delegation that the legislation passed by the Cayman Islands and other jurisdictions in December 2018 is still being assessed by the Commission for Economic and Financial Affairs, Taxation and Customs, and they committed to advise the Cayman Islands technical team of the outcome once the assessment is completed.

“The extensive engagement throughout the week in Europe, at the EU level as well as with representatives of several member states, including the influential French and Germans, was important to help ensure that those in the EU Commission, and in some Member States, who decide on these things, or who make recommendations to the decision makers, understand fully that we take our role as an international finance center seriously,” McLaughlin stated.

“We will continue to adhere to the evolving international standards. It also assisted in a better understanding on where some states were in their thinking,” he added.

The delegation also met with representatives from the government of the Netherlands, where concerns regarding its recently issued blacklist were raised, including the lack of engagement with Cayman prior to the list being published and the rationale for including this jurisdiction. But the premier did not reveal the outcome of those discussions.

Minister Rivers said the delegation had been directly engaging with the EU for almost two years, both at the technical as well as the political level, including some eight visits by her or the premier.

“We have worked with financial services partners at home in crafting the legislation and I am proud of the work we have done and for the support of industry,” she said. “In addition, we have consulted with the EU along the way to ensure that the elements that they were seeking to be in legislation were present. In short we are collectively doing what we can to maintain a vibrant financial services business for years to come,” she added.

Regardless of previous and these latest efforts, Cayman is still not out of the woods and in addition to waiting on the European Union decision, it could face further individual state sanctions. Another recent blow is that the government may not be getting the additional time it was led to believe it might have over the controversial issue of beneficial ownership.

While the FCO and the governor had indicated that the registers would not need to be in place by 2020 and that they could have until 2023 to address that sticky issue, Parliament has objected and it may well be that the registers must be in place by the end of next year otherwise an order-in-council will be issued.

As the premier and his delegation continue in their efforts to promote the reliability and stability of the offshore sector here, the pressures continue. But after tying up meetings in Europe Friday, the delegation will head to New York ahead of the Cayman Finance Breakfast Seminar next week, where McLaughlin will deliver an address outlining Cayman’s commitment to meeting all international global standards.

Press release – Premier and Cayman delegation wrap up meetings in Brussels, 17.01.19

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Category: Business, Financial Services, Politics

Comments (8)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    The issue is that EU, US and China are actually not following these standards. There is no reporting requirements or obligation to justify/proof the work done in country.

    In Cayman, one now is guilty until proven innocent. And there is significant fines as well as possible criminal consequences.
    Every little company locally now needs to hire lawyers to advice on additional filings basically forced upon us by the EU.

    Here an example: if an employee travels internationally for a bit, a company may fail the substance test (which is not defined and gets made up possibly on the fly) and face a possible prison sentence. There has been very few countries in the world that restricts rights so much.

    All because someone in the EU think Cayman is too competitive or a threat somehow. The EU turns the world into a kind of surveillance state, but who gave them the legal right to govern?

    In the US, one can have a company in turn without any substance whatsoever.

    This is a disadvantage for Cayman.
    Protectionism is actually unfair as it limits competitive offerings. Not competitive offerings that improve the level of service for business and employees. A country with less filing requirements is more attractive as it takes away less time from valuable activities.

    • Ron Ebanks says:

      They are just like some people I know that take their car to the mechanics and turns around and go go back home.

  2. Anonymous says:

    This regime’s stated eagerness to renege on BEPS membership if put on the EU’s blacklist, betrays the true intentions about all of this. It would be like passing a Standards in Public Life Law, for cosmetic appearances, but then deliberately never enacting the law…could you imagine how corrupt that would look?

    • Anonymous says:

      No need to imagine. As an experienced fraud investigator I can tell you how it looks – corrupt to the core. Bluntly, anyone who tries to claim these islands are not being managed like the proverbial ‘Banana Republic’ is shoveling s*** up a very steep hill.

      The real problem here is that we are dealing with EU politicians who have made a profession out of screwing the system and they’ll do anything (including screwing us) to present a veneer of respectability.

      The best response here would be to start picking on the EU officials involved and digging up dirt on them. To start off why not see how many of them have money stashed away in offshore accounts and property? I’ll give you a hint – it’s more than a few.

      • Anonymous says:

        Why should we believe you’re an experienced fraud investigator, Anonymous? You could be a garbage collector.

        Stop patronizing us. Put your name where your mouth is.

        • Bertie :B says:

          10:43 ,you are an idiot , does this person need to put his name on his intelligent comment ? I wont explain that to you as we cant fix stupid , but here is my name lol .good lord some people just shouldn’t read comments !

  3. Anonymous says:

    The EU will not stop and will continue to increase reporting.
    They hate freedom and want all the tax money even if they are not entitled to it.
    They want offshore to die and only allow their member states to participate in the space.

  4. Anonymous says:

    “We are very compliant with international standards….here, give me your bank account number and I’ll show you.”


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