Cayman drops way down on TJN secrecy ranking

| 17/05/2022 | 21 Comments

(CNS): The Cayman Islands is no longer the Tax Justice Network‘s most secret jurisdiction. The British overseas territory was rated number one in 2020 and number two in 2021, but this year it has dropped way down to number 14. The United States is now number one, Germany is number seven and Britain itself is number 13. The TJN said that Cayman dropped to 14th place in this year’s rankings after disclosing data showing that the scale of financial services it provides to non-residents was lower than expected.

The TJN has turned its attention to the onshore larger economies and, as successive governments and the financial services sector here have consistently claimed, it found that they are just as secretive as offshore jurisdictions, which TJN has previously viewed as traditional tax havens. It also found that it is in those countries where the serious financial crime is occurring.

The non-profit organisation now says that anyone looking to hide their ill-gotten gains will find the United States is the most helpful.

The TJN uses a number of criteria to rank countries, including the financial and legal systems that help people and entities conceal ownership of assets. The report said the USA’s new position at the top of the world ranking was due to its refusal to exchange information with other countries’ tax authorities — the opposite of Cayman, which is revealing much more information to the authorities, though this does remain hidden for wider public view.

Despite the lower ranking, the TJN said that an “oversized volume of wealth” was being sent offshore to this jurisdiction. Cayman also remains on the EU grey list and is still facing challenges in some areas relating to the Financial Action Task Force (FATF).

As result, the diplomacy work to change the perception of the Cayman Islands overseas continues. Financial Services Minister André Ebanks is currently leading a delegation for meetings in the UK and Europe with key stakeholders on subjects including global tax cooperation, anti-money laundering and countering the financing of terrorism.

“We’re continuing face-to-face discussions because it builds understanding, and keeps communication open and transparent,” Minister Ebanks said in a press release ahead of his departure at the weekend. “However, in addition to these visits, the ministry’s senior policy staff keep in contact with stakeholders as much as possible via email, telephone calls and video meetings. This lays the groundwork for more productive discussions when we do have in-person dialogue.” 

The meetings offer stakeholders and the Cayman Islands Government an opportunity to discuss matters of mutual interest, such as environmental, social and governance (ESG) issues, and to identify areas for further clarification and updates, officials said.

The delegation includes Parliamentary Secretary Katherine Ebanks-Wilks, Deborah Bodden and Gene DaCosta. Following the UK/EU engagement, they will join representatives of the Civil Aviation Authority of the Cayman Islands (CAACI) for the European Business Aviation Convention & Exhibition (EBACE) in Switzerland next week.

“Attending EBACE will give the ministry team insights for potential regulatory developments in aviation, and give CAACI support for their business development initiatives,” Minister Ebanks said.


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Category: Business, Financial Services, USA, World News

Comments (21)

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  1. anon says:

    Looks like there’s going to be quite a gathering of Caymanians in Switzerland, it would be useful if the Cayman taxpayer is informed of the names of our attendees and how much this whole shindig has cost them.

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  2. Anon. says:

    Delaware and Arizona are huge tax havens. The Florida and Manhattan real estate markets are money laundering havens. It is far easier to open a bank account in New York and London than it is to open one in Cayman. Cayman needs to work harder to change the undeserved and common misperception of its financial industry.

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    • Anonymous says:

      Thing is, there is actual law enforcement in the US. Rules don’t matter without that.

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    • Anonymous says:

      Don’t forget Nevada.

    • Anonymous says:

      Nevada, Utah, Alaska too…even Texas and a handful of others level no personal income tax. <>

    • Anonymous says:

      The US is generally in favor of personal economic freedom. We do not want it to be hard to open a bank account. So we spend money chasing fraudsters trying to crawl through the cracks. This is a practical approach. Draconian regulation just makes it harder on everyone without inhibiting the criminals.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Does anyone care where the Tax Justice Network rates Cayman? Their headquarters are in a house in a residential area in Chesham without even a nameplate on the door. Looks like someone’s hobby.

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  4. Anonymous says:

    Great, everyone already knew this.

    EU dont care, which is all thats remotely important. EU grey list & FATF.

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  5. Anonymous says:

    Not to worry, I am sure that TJN and the EU that will come up with some new metrics to put us back on top!!

    We used to be #1!!

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    • Anonymous says:

      Need to remain #1 too look at all the imported criminals we have here rich and poor ones alike

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  6. Anonymous says:

    Wow, the TJN really has its finger on the pulse doesn’t it. Have they really just discovered that the USA is one of the few countries not committed to sharing information under the Common Reporting Standard

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    • Anonymous says:

      Big countries outside the EU don’t have any intention of submitting to an international “standard”. No one wants to march off a cliff for their many “standards.” Here in the US we’re fine with standards for little countries, but that’s it.

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  7. Anonymous says:

    As cited over and over again in direct critical bullet form CFATF reviews: Cayman’s weak areas are it’s ongoing role in international transshipment economies, government complicity and corruption, and related money laundering. It doesn’t matter how many unbillable compliance hours are consumed by honest financial services institutions and employees, if the CIG are planning to continue to ignore the 800lb gorilla. André, of all the people in PACT is uniquely equipped to understand this, and situated to instruct remedial action…going abroad on PR missions doesn’t address our remaining domestic administrative issues.

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    • Anon. says:

      Thanks writer. You seem to know what you’re talking about, but could you put this is laymen’s terms? What is Cayman’s “ongoing role in international transshipment economies” and how does it effect our reputation, financial industry as a whole, etc.? I’m seriously seeking to be educated on this subject. Thanks!

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      • Anonymous says:

        Not original commenter (who seems to be a more learnered individual than myself), but in layman terms FATF thinks our Government didnt do a good enough job implementing the laws FATF saw as relevant (both fast enough and in enough detail) and they also think our Gov didnt do a good enough job overseeing the implementation and monitoring of these laws.

        This is why we implemented something crazy like 80+ laws / regulations in the past few years (after FATF findings), and why CIMA has been running around like a mad dog fining firms enormous amounts to show oversight. CIMA has also inspected an exorbitant amount of firms recently to try and show this.

        • Anonymous says:

          CFATF’s 2019 review demonstrated that CIMA had been inept, with decades of unactioned SARs. They’ve subsequently made some new hires. Cayman needs to demonstrate that white collar crime is not tolerated here. Yet, reading headlines of SEC convictions, I’m not convinced, and nor should anyone else be! We have a much flawed and watered-down SIPL Law. Nothing done to deliver SIPL Committee, and Auditor General and Ombudsman the resources and powers they need to course correct and influence Manderson-Bulgin steady as she goes approach, with material gaps in basic bookeeping and procedure tolerated at the highest levels.

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        • Anonymous says:

          Great synopsis. Make sure your passport and utility bills are up to date because we know this is the key to ending money laundering. That is how they got Noriega, he moved without updating his proof of residency.

      • Anonymous says:

        This isn’t secret info. CFATF gave us a bullet form checklist of problem areas circa March 2019. Contemporaneously, Tara Rivers ignored most of it. Some was patched with missing legislation (beyond deadlines and resulting Blacklistings), other problem areas wholly ignored with inferred regime consent. See “Key Findings” and “Recommended Actions”:
        https://www.fatf-gafi.org/publications/mutualevaluations/documents/mer-cayman-islands-2019.html

  8. Anonymous says:

    No one cares what the TJN says anymore. They have lost all credibility. Maybe has something to do with their secrecy and non transparency.

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