Minister talks regulation with offshore sector

| 20/09/2019 | 12 Comments
Cayman News Service
Financial Services Minister Tara Rivers, delivered the opening remarks

(CNS): Financial Services Minister Tara Rivers told hundreds of representatives from the offshore sector recently that government was doing all it could to deal with the new demands in financial standards. Providing a review of efforts to keep pace with new standards in tax transparency, anti-money laundering and counter-terrorism financing, and prudential regulation, she told stakeholders that staying abreast of global standards for decades had made the industry here stronger.

“Maintaining an open dialogue with our industry practitioners is crucial,” Rivers said in a release following the recent event. “As Cayman continues to evolve in this dynamic global environment, we look forward to similar updates and events that allow for ongoing, constructive consultation with the industry.”

The ministry issued a statement Thursday offering more detail about the update, which said there would be further regularly scheduled meetings to update financial services practitioners in the Cayman Islands. The meetings are designed to increase engagement with industry and inform people of the various developments taking place in terms of international standards, changes to legislation, and the work being undertaken by the various departments within the ministry.

Government is currently focused on complying with the recommendations in the last Caribbean Financial Action Task Force (CFATF) review. This found a number of deficiencies in our regimes, not only within the offshore sector but also particular industries long known to be vulnerable to financial crime that have been largely ignored, such as real estate and precious metal and stone dealers.

During this update Rivers was joined by officials from the departments of Financial Services, International Tax Cooperation and the Registrar of Companies, as well as the Cayman Islands Monetary Authority.

She revealed that the latest OECD Forum on Harmful Tax Practices (FHTP) assessment of the Cayman Islands Economic Substance legislation had found the jurisdiction to be in line with the international standard and designated it as ‘not harmful’.

She also said the FHTP found that, in principle, the Cayman Islands has a fully equipped monitoring mechanism (FEMM) for the purposes of economic substance compliance, which would be reviewed for effective implementation — one of the biggest changes for the financial sector in recent times. 

She also spoke about sector-specific guidance notes on economic substance that are in development, with working group meetings completed and changes being incorporated. Wider industry consultation is scheduled for October, Rivers added.

Other officials gave an explanation of hardware upgrades at the General Registry that affect the Cayman Online Registry Information System (CORIS) and the Corporate Administration Platform (CAP), which is expected to rollout mid-October. Enhanced user support and user experience roll-outs are expected with both IT systems and there will be a team in place for problem resolution at the Registry.

A public consultation is now expected in November on the progress regarding the regulatory framework for virtual assets, providing a risk-based, flexible, technology-neutral regulatory framework.

CIMA also delivered updates included FATF identified issues with the SIBL Excluded Persons Regime and the establishment of an AML/CFT division to address FATF concerns regarding resourcing.


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Category: Business, Financial Services

Comments (12)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Tara,

    It would be nice if you really addressed the Financial Services sector by accepting and responding to questions at your presentations and not just finish up your speech and run away to your next “urgent meeting” …

    We know that that next meeting isn’t urgent at all.

    Perhaps you would surprise some of us with your knowledge, or is it more a case of:

    “Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak and to remove all doubt”?

  2. Anonymous says:

    There doesn’t appear to be any intelligence or risk-based approach to CIMA’s consumer info gathering these days, even post-GDPR, and data protection law. For instance, I can’t renew my auto insurance coverage without bringing in gov’t ID and proof of address, but ironically, not origin of funds. Apparently there are senior risk officers, at the insurance company, who are concerned that sophisticated launderers, might be “washing their money” through insurance policy premiums? How does that flow of funds work exactly? For laundering to work, there needs to be a change in ownership of the funds – and it needs to come out the other end. It can’t be a one-way valve. Do they really think cartels are going in to buy $1000 comprehensive auto insurance policies, and then crashing these cars in hopes they might get whole again? If there were ever a launderer that dense, I suspect they would be very short term problem for everyone. Especially when there are unregulated full-fledged cyber-currency exchanges trading between 70 different coins that CIMA and Tara wants to take a “wait and see” approach on. You can’t even make this stuff up.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Bring back Wayne

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  4. Anonymous says:

    A more accurate headline would have been “Tara talks and nothing of worth comes out”.

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  5. Anonymous says:

    tara talks management speak. end of.

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  6. Anonymous says:

    Tara, dear, ya hanging with the wrong crowd

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  7. Anonymous says:

    Vote her out next election!
    #notworththesalary

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  8. Say it like it is. says:

    CFATF, OECD, FHTP, FEMM, CORIS, CAP, FATF, SIBL, AML/CFT – if Government adopts any more protocols the private sector will be spending 90% of it’s time on non-remunerative bureaucracy with only 10% to spare for it’s clients. Unfortunately unlike the Civil Service business in the real world has to make a profit.

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    • Anonymous says:

      The bigger problem, detailed in the CFATF report, is that regardless of what law-abiding business might do to conform to changing protocols, the “watchdogs” still have no clue, are understaffed, take no action, and ignore whole segments that are full-time engaged in the activity CIMA and DCI purport to want to counter.

  9. Anonymous says:

    “Doing all it could”, such as, not acting on SARs filed over 10 years, or adopting a “wait and see” approach to regulating cyber currencies and their trading (the hottest laundering and corruption-fueling mechanism on the planet).

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    • Anonymous says:

      So correct. Instead of having a plan they are always working to catch up. Lots of knee jerk reactions. It would be good if they would train their staff and not bring on those who claim to know the industry and do not. Just look at how often they amend the same law or regulations in a short period. They do not care about the pressures they are putting on the private sector with their constant changes.

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  10. Anonymous says:

    Way to go Tara!

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