OECD reps appear to give thumbs up to Cayman

| 07/01/2019 | 12 Comments
Cayman News Service

Dan Scott (left) is among the Cayman Islands financial services industry representatives who met with Pascal Saint-Amans and Melissa Dejong

(CNS): Government has revealed that two high-ranking representatives from the OECD Centre for Tax Policy and Administration were in the Cayman Islands last week, and they appear to have given the jurisdiction a thumbs up over its cooperation and new legislation regarding global tax issues. In a release from the financial services ministry, the centre’s director, Pascal Saint-Amans, said that he has heard “no complaints” from governments regarding Cayman’s exchanges of information for tax purposes. “All of Cayman’s efforts are building a positive reputation,” he said, because the jurisdiction has “done the job in the area of transparency”.

During the two-day visit Saint-Amans and the OECD Head of Unit for Harmful Tax Practices, Melissa Dejong, met with Cabinet and caucus members, local financial services and commerce regulators, and private-sector financial services and commerce representatives.

The Cayman government recently passed new legislation to meet the ever-changing international regulatory landscape to ensure that the jurisdiction avoids the European Union’s blacklist. However, the visit came just as The Netherlands opted to create its own blacklist, which included the Cayman Islands.

According to the release, Saint-Amans said it was difficult to explain changes imposed from outside a jurisdiction. “There is a gap between being recognised by partners and public reputation (but) one should first think about what a tax haven is before putting that label on the Cayman Islands,” he said. “Tax neutrality should not be a code name for tax evasion.”

The OECD representatives, who routinely visit jurisdictions as part of their key role in advancing the OECD tax transparency agenda, also noted Cayman’s continued engagement in global tax matters, the entrenchment of tax issues on political agendas, tax challenges presented by the digitalisation of the global economy and the need to level the global playing field in financial services.

Dejong, who liaises closely with the EU over harmful tax practices, confirmed that the legislation the Cayman government passed last month is similar to that in other jurisdictions, including other British Overseas Territories and the Crown Dependencies.

It is expected that by mid-February the EU will announce its assessment of the jurisdiction against its standards. Meanwhile, the OECD will conduct an assessment of jurisdictions, including Cayman, against the Forum for Harmful Tax Practices Standards.

During their visit Saint-Amans and Dejong encouraged Cayman to remain engaged with global developments to best position domestic policy and legislative development in the future.

Financial Services Minister Tara Rivers said government held extensive consultations in relation to the most recent legislation. She said the time spent analysing various scenarios and speaking with local and international stakeholders was to position the financial services industry for continued stability and growth.

“The Cayman Islands is, and always has been, a very resilient jurisdiction,” she said. “Historically our financial services industry grew from strength to strength, even after adopting significant changes as a result of evolving global standards over the many decades; and based on our history, we anticipate that this ability to adapt and prosper will continue into the future.”

Premier Alden McLaughlin said the visit by Saint-Amans and Dejong was helpful in giving an impartial view of Cayman’s regime and its progress.

“Their comments to the various audiences confirm that Cayman’s standards, when considered alongside those of our peers and larger economies, are currently keeping pace with developments,” he said. “Of course, as standards evolve, all jurisdictions will have scope to further enhance their regimes. Government recognises this and is committed to developing our framework in a way that meets these standards, while also best supporting our local economy.”

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Category: Business, Financial Services

Comments (12)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    This smacks of the same verbal assurances given by CIG to overseas bidders on infrastructure projects. CIG are very good at playing games stringing and stringing bidders out, possibly for perks, incentives, kick backs whatever you want to call it.

    We’ve lost many an opportunity to build much needed infrastructure here due to this malarkey but the circus goes on as it’s how CIG roll.

    As spiteful as it may seem OECD do have the right to dispense the same poison pill.

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  2. Anonymous says:

    Seems like these guys just wanted a jaunt to get away from the cold weather in Paris.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Memo to Government – When an organisation bent on reducing our country to economic ruin says that it approves of what you are doing, perhaps you ought to re-consider what you are doing rather than bragging about our enemy’s approval – just saying

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  4. Anonymous says:

    Yes indeed – the OECD must be very pleased that we have such shortsighted and/or dim witted politicians and technocrats.

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  5. Anonymous says:

    The OECD can appear to do or be many things. However at the end of the day the job of the OECD is, and always has been, to transfer wealth from small and/or poor non-OECD countries to rich and powerful OECD countries, and to do so at the lowest cost. Their 20 year old strategy of inventing self-serving ‘standards’ or rather double-standards combined with the threat of blacklists, has proven successful beyond their wildest initial dreams. Any praise that comes from the OECD simply means that their plans are working and any prospect of a fair future for non-OECD states is declining.

  6. Anonymous says:

    Again, like a broken record, who cares what the EU/OECD/FATF thinks? The US has not signed on for any of this nonsense.

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  7. Anonymous says:

    This is from the same government that tell us about their successful meetings with foreign officials right before new legislation is enacted against Cayman.

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  8. Anonymous says:

    One finger probably. Don’t be so sure it’s a thumb though.

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  9. Anonymous says:

    “Strength to strength”, says the redactive autocratic regime that refuses to enact the baseline Standards in a Public Life Law, required by Constitution, PFML, and or adhere to an elementary standard of good governance…

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  10. Tell it like it is says:

    Well don’t want to rain on anyonesParade but may I suggest that before the corks statrt popping on the Champagne tithe Islands Government await the final official OECD verdict in February.

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