Cayman workers sent $235M to home countries

| 26/03/2019 | 88 Comments

(CNS): Expatriate workers in the the Cayman Islands sent home a record-breaking amount of cash last year through money service companies, according to statistics from the Cayman Islands Monetary Authority. People sent almost $235 million to numerous countries around the world, but the largest amount, around $133 million or 58%, went to Jamaica. The Philippines received the second largest amount, around $40 million, and Hondurans sent around $17 million to their country.

Cash remittances have been increasing significantly since 2015, when workers sent home less than $170 million, reaching a heady $217.7 million in 2017, which was edging close to the existing record of $229 million in 2008. But even that was eclipsed by the 2018 figure. Not surprisingly, the last quarter of last year saw the largest amount of cash going overseas, with over $61 million leaving Cayman, an increase of more than 5%.

According to the last quarter figures of 2018, the majority of transactions were less than $500. In total, $132 million of the near $235 million sent overseas was sent in amounts of less than $500, and almost half a million dollars in small remittances went to Jamaica alone last year.

The figures are limited to just three active money service companies and the data does not include any cash workers may have sent home through banks.

Money flowing into Cayman from cash-transfer firms was considerably less — around $8 million, with over $1 million of that coming from the United States.

See more details on the CIMA website here

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Proof positive that our transient guest labour are here not for our good but their own. Period. One cannot fault them though, nor should one be surprised. As they make that fact known in the creation of their sub-cultures whilst undermining or detesting their host country’s culture. They are preferred labour choice by many including the caymanian people. And now they are showing it by their monetary actions. A complete drain or annual run on the Cayman economy. So this penchant for expat labour economic gains is just marginal at best. Do we need expat labour in this economic miracle? Yes. Should we do more to lessen our dependence? yes. We should also look at ways, as a country, to get more than the marginal contributions they make, in purchasing sustenance, than we do.

  2. Anonymous says:

    i am a caymanian…live low…live comfortable …travel …and save 40 % of my salary…and most importantly…dont marry anyone…??? ….life is good…

  3. Anonymous says:

    These remittances would nearly disappear if home was here in Cayman, but the immigration laws make it clear that Cayman is not home and never will be. You can’t have the cheap labour and then turn around and expect the guest worker to invest where they aren’t wanted.

  4. Anonymous says:


    How much locally-derived money was wire transferred or SPENT back in the UK, Canada and Europe?

    Those figures would make this $235m look like chicken-feed.

    Good ol’ Cayman – a colony still in the role of propping up and endorsing the “1st world”.

    – Whodatis

  5. Johnny come lately needs to go HOME says:

    They are clearly hemorrhaging Cayman’s economy and our political dodo birds are allowing it to happen to us,whilst preaching rubbish and their false propaganda about we are somehow deriving some benefit from it when they are clearly taking this place down very badly! Time to cut this foreign population onslaught before things get even worse.

  6. Anson Autry M. Foster says:

    Does anyone remember when Caymanian men went overseas and sent money back home? This is a similar situation but in reverse.

    • In honor of our Seaman says:

      Yes Autry dear but how can you compare or seaman building skyscrapers destroy our environment and marginalizing us and finally they had no intention of staying to continue their fleecing and it was ships your attempt to compare is quite Flimsy

  7. Anonymous says:

    This is stupid report. Rich folk up WestBay Road do not use remittance services. They do bank transfers. This is just another smoke screen to let Caymanians think their problem is Jamaicans. I am yet to pass a Caymanian jogging in the middle of the day up WestBay Road.

    • Anonymous says:

      Whats jogging up West Bay Road got to do with it? Moreover, how do you know the people jogging up West Bay Road are not Caymanian? Assumption based on skin colour, perchance?

  8. Anonymous says:

    I am not sure if Cayman businesses that buy in USD are included in this, if so, the numbers are inaccurate. As I have never understood that immigration white card. I suspect our stats are garbage..

  9. Anonymous says:

    Did the large remittances back to other countries have anything to do with the pension fiasco and the mass exodus of expats last year?

  10. Anonymous says:

    You have workers here who are being treated like animals and being underpayed at the same time but they tough it out to go back home no every Jamaican come here to party we have family back home to take care of .making a sacrifice to send money back home shouldn’t be a problem the job that most Jamaicans do is done by Jamaicans because caymanians wouldn’t do it once you work your money it shouldn’t be checked on I think the most barrels packed and sent from here is from jamaicans.

    • Anon says:

      Wouldn’t mention Barrels if I were you since alot of stolen items leave Cayman in them. Most go to two countries Honduras and Jamaica.

  11. Anonymous says:

    1. Until you include money sent via the banking system we will never know the true numbers.
    2. So what? If people working here leave their family’s at home they have to send money home to care for them. If people working here arent guaranteed status they have to send money home to have something more to return to than when they left.

    No one should be upset that money is leaving Cayman. NONE of the money from financial services is actually in Cayman except the salaries paid to workers who are Caymanian. I don’t even understand why we report this…..

  12. Anonymous says:

    You can’t blame the expats for sending money home. I blame Caymanians and I am one, for allowing too much rapid development, it is going ruin this place eventually. Greed is a hell of a thing.

  13. Anonymous says:

    When you divide it by the number of expats here, it really isn’t much money they are sending home annually.

    • kevin says:

      yes i agree we have to live too.. but common jamaicans got to save harder

    • Anonymous says:

      Wow you are silly. unless in your books approximately 4 – 6 Million each is not a lot of money in 1 year!! Totally draining the Cayman economy.

      • Anonymous says:

        Wow you are silly? Then you say they are sending $4-$6 million each? Even if the original poster is silly, at least they can do basic math.

  14. Dream in Cayman says:

    I don’t get it why it’s anybody’s business what I do with my hard earned money? Count money in your own pockets.

  15. Anonymous says:

    This is a Caymanian created solution to a Caymanian created problem. So let it be Caymankind.

    • Anonymous says:

      Sad to think that this money could stay on Island if a certain class of Caymanian could be bothered to show up for work.

      • Anonymous says:

        Sad to think how much more better off economically and socially much of the countries of origin would be if the economic migrants would’ve stayed. Brain drain wouldn’t exist and they would cease to spend their time partaking in social genocide and misleading local propaganda and anti-caymanian rhetoric to justify their perceived need and right to be here.

        • The watcher says:

          That’s still not going to make a certain section of the population – go to work, stay at work for the hours they are paid for or go bleating to the Labour board when things don’t go their way.

  16. Anonymous says:

    What else should expats do with their money when weve outlined their future here is never guaranteed to make any kind of investment? Govt made the rules to let them treat us like a hotel. They are just playing by OUR rules!

  17. Anonymous says:

    Tax it!

    • Anonymous says:

      Think it’s time for taxing money that expatriate workers are sending home. Maybe a certain percentage should be tax free and then tax the rest. Would keep more money in the economy and would benefit everyone that lives here.

      • Anonymous says:

        Uh, That’s a form of slavery!

        • Anonymous says:

          No, from your end it would be called double taxation. Happens to lots of people around the world that migrate to other jurisdictions (Non-Tax Free) to work. The main reason people come to Cayman to work is to avoid the double tax.

          • Anonymous says:

            What proof do you have that it is the main reason people come to the Cayman Islands. Have your surveyed 30,000 expats?

      • Anonymous says:

        Yeah yeah yeah…..and watch Cayman empty and become a backwater.

      • Anonymous says:

        Tax the poorest people in Cayman?!? FU!!!

        • Anonymous says:

          Agreed, these are cash remittances typically used by the poor. If they had a bank account a simple wire transfer would have been used. Try getting that data and you will be in the trillions.

      • Anonymous says:

        Work permit holders! Not PR or Status holders!

      • Anonymous says:

        Ha proof in the pudding that most people on CNS are expats. I always thought so…. watch the likes and dislikes nah

      • Anonymous says:

        Well it wouldn’t benefit those people you’re taxing would it? Are you going to give me a credit for moving money here? Anyway congrats you just caused every last movable penny to be wired out of Cayman. Clown.

      • Anonymous says:

        Listen to yourself 5.29. The article is unbalanced because it does not address the issue of just how money money these same workers spend in the economy. Apart from the fact that if you don’t include bank transfers then the article is meaningless. Also Cayman News Service what purpose does your article serve since it is by no means accurate?

        CNS: The article is 100% accurate, it has informed the public and generated an interesting discussion.

    • Alejandro says:

      Any tax placed to a minority in a TAX FREE country will mess you up really bad. Imagine what “Hedge funds, bankers and white reach dudes” will think once you do that, I can tell you: we are next! Be real, the minute you say Tax…. it comes property tax…..and the largest owner of property in Cayman is… You are a winner!! Settele down, Chill and Netflix.

    • Anonymous says:

      Ignorant comment…Loading Loading…Please Wait…and Boom here it is.

      They are taxed 2% on heir remittances and quite unfairly I might add.

    • Anonymous says:

      It already is taxed, there is a government fee on all monies sent out the country.

  18. Anonymous says:

    bloodfire !!!!! 1 thirty tree ya say….dats alot of ganja mon lol

  19. Anonymous says:

    they live low and save…so why cant we caymanians do the same?

  20. Anonymous says:

    That’s a lot of money leaving these little islands

    • Anonymous says:

      Exactly, too much that could be circulated within our economy. Sad that Caymanians have nowhere to go to reap such rewards!

      It’s an ugly realty isn’t it!

      • Anonymous says:

        Well if you want that money you have to do their work. If you don’t want to tie rebar in the noon sun, stop whining.

      • Anonymous says:

        why do you think Caymanians cannot go anywhere else in the world? Do they not have the qualifications and work ethics to make it somewhere else?

    • Anonymous says:

      And a more coming in. These numbers do not include bank transfers.

  21. Anonymous says:

    If 42% of Cayman’s 26,000 permit holders are Jamaican and those 10,920 sent $133mln home, that’s an average surplus remittance of KYD$12,179 each, or an “extra” USD$1,300/mo per month per Jamaican – most of whom probably aren’t netting >$500/week.

    How much of that $133mln went to our supply and infrastructure partners like Seaboard Marine Jamaica, and how much from conspiring smurfs to Tivoli Gardens? Does anyone at CIMA bother to scrutinize the destination recipients/accounts?

    • Anonymous says:

      Not only work permit holders send money abroad. Many Caymanians, Status Holders and PR residents also send money abroad to family members.

      • Anonymous says:

        Everyone you mentioned has a direct connection to Cayman. Permit holders can leave when ever they please.

      • Anonymous says:

        Or to Columbia, to buy artifacts.

      • Anonymous says:

        We ensure that the Immigration Law brings uncertainty to the lives of expats. It is made harder and harder to become a permanent resident. What are they to do? Expats need to know that when they have to leave that they have a home to go back to. What is wrong with that?

        • Anonymous says:

          I know a Jamaican national for over 39 yrs in these islands ,he have cayman status and don’t even own a bicycle here , he’s making ready to pack his lil one bag to head home to his mansion . My point is why give these people status when they have no investment here ?

      • Anonymous says:

        Not just family members, everything we and local companies import is paid for by sending money abroad. Taxing transfers is a really, really dumb idea. Maybe we should put a tax on dumb ideas.

    • Anonymous says:

      Goodness!!! What is wrong with you? Did it not occur to you that people are sending money home to support their families who will never live here? Homes are being built for their families and kids are being educated all the way through university. Even in government schools parents are expected to contribute to their children’s education, and definitely tertiary education is not free. Not to mention the cost of health care. And older relatives needing to be taken care of.

      It cannot be easy to leave one’s family for extended periods. It takes a toll on marriages and relationships with children. But the sacrifice is made in order to better provide for the family. Many work permit holders from Jamaica scrimp and save. Do you really expect them to keep their money here, and to whose benefit? Certainly not theirs as the majority of them will never qualify for PR.

      I am tired of the inferences that all Jamaicans are criminals, and their money is used to fund criminal activity.

      It is my belief that the vast majority of the workforce earn their money legitimately, and yes this includes Jamaicans who are looked down up on by many.

      Remittances are already being taxed!

      And yes, there are persons other than work permit holders sending money overseas.

      Give it up!!!!!

      • Anonymous says:

        When the amount of money being sent home in remittances exceeds the amount of income declared on work permit forms (after allowing a reasonable amount for local expenses) we appear to have a problem. Stick your head in the sand all you want. Someone appears to be lying to officialdom, somewhere, with absolute impunity.

        • Anonymous says:

          Do you think only Jamaicans on wps send money to Jamaica ? Wow.

          • Anonymous says:

            I am a white expat on contract. I send money home. While here I pay an extortionate amount on rent, shop in local supermarkets, eat in restaurants and generally spend at least half my wage in Cayman. Why do you not attack the locals who are paid to do jobs they do not turn up to do, or cry off sick when its raining, or its Monday or Friday etc etc. We cannot invest in a home here because we are on contract and therefore our status here is not secure. Stop scapegoating expats!

        • kevin says:

          before jamaican get PR and status they were sending money its not gonna stop they have families home

        • Anonymous says:

          Some expat workers make decent salaries……

      • Anonymous says:

        The best comment?

      • Anonymous says:

        Every year when CNS posts this article the haters come out and they inevitably come for Jamaicans. You can’t get residency. You can barely get a work permit. Some of us who are here have to pay for our own permits, health insurance and pension plus turn around and pay the boss for the work that you went out and got and yet people still damn us when we send money home. Notice that the size of the remittances is on average $500. Do you know how long it takes to save $500 to send home especially when you are earning $6.00/hour?

        The other day someone told me that they are looking a place to rent and they found a nice place in town for 200/month including utilities but it has no water but he is happy because he can bathe at work. People talk about expats not contributing to the economy. Many of us do not have a visa to travel to the US so we support local businesses by buying food and electronic items, school supplies and we pack barrels and boxes and ship to Jamaica. Ask the people who own the shipping companies, grocery stores, electronic stores etc. who their biggest customers are.

        Let us all live. We can’t let our children and elderly family members go hungry. We have to provide for them. That is the main reason most of us make the decision to come here. It is the reason why many Caymanians left Cayman and went to work overseas. It is the reason many people leave their country and go somewhere that they think will offer them the best economic gain.

        Don’t stop the progress. Learn from it.

        • Cess Pita says:

          7.04am You have put your case eloquently. Sadly every time this issue is raised we have to put up with ignorant comments from ignorant Caymanians who spend all their money on wine, women and song and then expect Government to look after them in old age.

          • Anonymous says:

            No deary. Not all of us Caymanians dwindle our money on booze, women and materialism. Some of us save what little we can for a rainy day, which is almost every other day in this economy.

            Caymanians have nowhere to go to receive such benefits as being able to send tons of money back here to support our families and build our homes.

            100+ million being sent to Jamaica annually? You cannot deny the impact this must have on the local economy. That IS a lot of $$$ going out, never to be seen of or heard of again in Cayman!

            • Anonymous says:

              Caymanian’s could go all sorts of places to work to get money to send home (yes work – do you think the expats working here receive the cash for free?). The country used to be supported by Caymanian merchant seaman doing exactly that. Don’t want $100m a year going to Jamaica? Fine. Then get Caymanians to do the jobs the Jamaicans are doing. Or give the Jamaicans a reason to save and invest here. But don’t tell expatriate workers that they have no prospect of being able to stay long termm and then expect them to work their butts off but leave their earnings here.

            • Cess pita says:

              10.31am I am not talking about all Caymanians only those like you who make ignorant comments on this article. I thank you sincerely for admirably illustrating my point.

          • Anonymous says:

            Phone, car and fast food.

          • Anonymous says:

            Wow what a sweeping statement to make.

        • Anonymous says:

          I am not unsympathetic but if you are paying for your own permit you are a criminal and have no place in Cayman. You have been a party to a fraud to gain access.

        • Anonymous says:

          Totally skewed viewpoint, but you did a good job securing your opinion on why you should be entitled to live and work here as you wish without consequence.

        • Anonymous says:

          If you have to live like that, might as well go back to where you were born…..just saying

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