Archive for the ‘Cayman Organizations’ Category

Law company register established in Cayman

Thursday, August 8th, 2019

All law firms and sole practitioners operating in the Cayman Islands must register with a new legal regulator before the end of this month, as government presses on with the job of meeting the latest international rules for the financial sector. The newly-registered Cayman Attorneys Regulatory Authority (CARA) has begun to build its regulatory oversight framework that includes the register aimed at helping fight money laundering.

In accordance with the Legal Associations Law, which came into effect in February, the Cayman Islands Legal Practitioners Association (CILPA) had formed CARA to supervise the functions and build the regulatory oversight framework. The framework includes law firms registration. CILPA has 546 members, which is approximately 80% of the lawyers working in Cayman.

Registering all lawyers is just one of many developments in the offshore sector because the Cayman Islands has to address the concerns raised by the most recent Caribbean Financial Action Task Force (CFATF) review until February 2020. The CFATF review identified risks and threats to numerous areas of the financial sector and related business such as real estate and precious metal brokers.

A newly-appointed national coordinator for the Anti-Money Laundering Steering Group (AMLSG), Elisabeth Lees, has spent the last few months working, along with the Anti-Money Laundering Unit, to coordinate action in the public sector in order to implement the recommendations in the CFATF report.

If Cayman fails to address problems defined in the review, the FATF could impose a remediation plan to its detriment.

As a result, a new working group has been created in order to fight proliferation financing, an area of focus in the CFATF report.

OECD seeks Feedback on Dispute Resolution In Cayman

Sunday, July 28th, 2019

The OECD has requested stakeholders’ input on the dispute resolution processes in place in the Cayman Islands as well as in other 9 jurisdictions – Andorra, Anguilla, Bahamas, Bermuda, the British Virgin Islands, the Faroe Islands, Macau (China), Morocco, and Tunisia.

The OECD is reviewing these jurisdictions’ implementation of the base erosion and profit shifting (BEPS) Action Plan minimum standard on tax treaty dispute resolution under Action 14. In partaking in the BEPS Inclusive Framework, the territories have committed to implementing this and the three other BEPS minimum standards and take part in peer review processes.

The OECD is seeking input from taxpayers, via a questionnaire, on specific issues relating to access to Mutual Agreement Procedure (MAP) resolution; the clarity and availability of MAP guidance; and whether MAP agreements are timely implemented in the Cayman Islands and other 9 jurisdictions.

As taxpayers are the main users of the MAP, their input is key for the review process.

CIMA signs MoU with American insurers group

Tuesday, August 14th, 2018

The Cayman Islands Monetary Authority (CIMA) signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) with a view to help insurance supervisors in the US and Cayman Islands coordinate on regulatory issues with the goal of efficient, fair, safe and stable insurance markets. According to a press release from CIMA, signed on August 4, the agreement encourages a formal framework to provide mutual assistance and exchange of information to coordinate compliance in each jurisdiction.

CIMA Managing Director Cindy Scotland said that the memorandum of understanding was a significant milestone in the CIMA’s ongoing collaboration with the regulators of the world’s largest insurance market. She noted: “I am confident that this agreement will strengthen the relationship between the NAIC and the Authority. It will also provide stronger capabilities for each organisation to achieve our common goals of economic stability and consumer protection”.

CIMA said it has established good working relationships with various state regulators within the US and other regulatory, standard setting bodies outside of the Cayman Islands.

To date, CIMA has entered into 55 bilateral agreements and 6 multilateral agreements with regulatory authorities, including the International Association of Insurance Supervisors and US Banking regulators (Federal Reserve System Board of Governors, Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, and Office of Thrift Supervision).

CIMA’s regulatory powers extended

Thursday, August 9th, 2018

The Cayman Islands Monetary Authority (CIMA) has said that a Privy Council decision made in July 2018 has confirmed the regulator’s powers to compel non-licensee Cayman-registered companies“>Cayman-registered companies to give up information on behalf of other overseas regulators under the authority’s 2018 Law.

According to a press release issued by CIMA, the Judicial Committee of the London-based court refused Select Vantage Inc.’s application to appeal a decision of the Cayman Islands Court of Appeal, which had found in CIMA’s favour last year.

“In refusing Select Vantage Inc.’s application, at the very first stage, the Privy Council has effectively and clearly affirmed the Court of Appeal’s earlier ground-breaking decision regarding CIMA’s powers. This decision acknowledges that CIMA has powers to obtain information from a non-licensee Cayman Islands registered company on behalf of another overseas regulator under the Monetary Authority Law 2018,” the Authority said.

Select Vantage Inc. is a Cayman Islands registered exempt company operating as a proprietary trading firm, which currently is not a licensee of CIMA. It was under investigation by the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) for potential market manipulation and the Cayman Authority sought information for that regulator.

In 2017, CIMA was asked by Australian officials for information about the company for its investigations and CIMA obtained a Grand Court order obliging Select Vantage to hand over details of its traders. The firm challenged the order, arguing among other things that it was just a subsidiary and did not have the details requested. But the Cayman Islands Court of Appeal found in CIMA’s favour and rejected Select Vantage’s claims.

CIMA Managing Director Cindy Scotland noted the importance of the Privy Council’s decision and the affirmation of the authorities powers “to require information and documents in response to a proper request from an overseas regulatory authority whether the company or companies involved are licensed by CIMA or not”.

Cayman launches CbC Reporting Portal

Thursday, May 17th, 2018

The Cayman Islands’ country-by-country (CbC) reporting portal has been launched, with the first CbC reports due from some taxpayers by the end of the month.

CbC reporting requires multinational enterprises (MNEs) that meet certain criteria to file a country-by-country report with tax authorities. CbC reporting applies only to MNE groups with annual consolidated group revenue of not less than a specified threshold amount in the preceding fiscal year, which is USD 850 million in Cayman.

CbC reports are due within 12 months of the end of the fiscal year. As a result of an earlier extension, the first deadline will be May 31, 2018 in order to provide extra time for those taxpayers whose fiscal year began in the first 5 months of the year in 2016.

According to the Finance Ministry of the Cayman Islands, a Reporting Entity resident in the jurisdiction must make a CbC Report via the CbCR Portal even if that results in duplication because a CbC Report for the same MNE Group has already been made to another Competent Authority, for instance where the MNE Group appoints a Surrogate Parent Entity in another participating jurisdiction or where a Reporting Entity resident in the islands is also resident for tax purposes in another participating jurisdiction.

It should be noted that the CbC Report provides a breakdown of the amount of revenue, profits, taxes, and other indicators of economic activities for each tax jurisdiction in which the MNE group does business.

Small Cayman businesses concerned over cost of finance

Monday, July 31st, 2017

According to the president of the Cayman Islands Small Business Association (CISBA), financial institutions are setting up entrepreneurs for failure because of the cost of loans. This was one of a number of issues that Dawn McLean-Sawney raised with the new minister for commerce, Joey Hew.

McLean-Sawney said small businesses need better concessions on loans to make payments viable.

Other difficulties the small business sector faced included the following:
– inadequate funding,
– too much red tape,
– securing venues to set up businesses,
– challenges based on definitions of micro (1-3 employees) and small (4-10 employees) businesses in provision of employee benefits.

Also, the small business sector needed more incentives, including a reduction in fees such as Customs and Trade and Business Licence fees, and encouragement for more women, especially single mothers, and retirees to be able to become small business owners.

CISBA, which currently has 120 members, was created to advocate for policies that are beneficial to local small businesses as well as to support and promote entrepreneurial spirit.

CIMA announces new appointments

Tuesday, July 11th, 2017

The Cayman Islands Monetary Authority (CIMA) has promoted two staff members to top positions within the organisation, as of 1 June 2017.

Suzanne Sadlier, who has been a reinsurance specialist at CIMA since joining the authority in April 2015, was named deputy head of the Insurance Supervision Division, and Judiann Myles, who had a three-year tenure as the deputy head of CIMA’s Policy and Development Division, was appointed deputy head of the Compliance Division.

“As the authority continues to highlight the quality of expertise amongst our employees, we are extremely pleased to fill these important top positions from within our organisation”, Cindy Scotland, CIMA managing director, said. “With a combined proven track record for successfully leading large-scale initiatives, experience in strategic planning and technical operations within financial regulation, each of the aforementioned appointments certainly add value to CIMA’s management team, and its overall structure,” she added.

Four year AML/terrorist financing plan announced in Cayman

Monday, May 29th, 2017

Following the shortcomings identified previously by the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) and in Cayman’s regulatory regime to address emerging threats and vulnerabilities in the financial sector, the attorney general Samuel Bulgin said a strategy has been developed ahead of the next FATF review. In a short statement the government’s chief lawyer, Bulgin said that significant progress had been made on anti-money laundering and terrorist financing but more work needed to be done before that review which will take place later this year.

He said: “The government recognises the need to take ongoing measures to update the AML/CFT regime to address the full range of risks relating to money laundering, the financing of terrorism and proliferation to the Cayman Islands and to communicate its strategy to relevant stakeholders”.

Responding to the threats and vulnerabilities identified in the recently published National Risk Assessment (NRA), a 4-year Anti-Money Laundering and Counter Terrorist Financing Strategy has been developed. According to Bulgin, the strategy will ensure that the jurisdiction has a “robust, adaptive and responsive AML/CFT framework, consistent with international standards, and effective in maintaining the integrity of the Cayman Islands’ financial services system”.

CIMA stars creating online payment system

Wednesday, April 12th, 2017

The Cayman Islands Monetary Authority (CIMA) has announced the launch of a fee payment section of the Regulatory Enhanced Electronic Forms Submission (REEFS) system for authorised financial services industry users.

The payment section is being rolled out in 2 phases:

– Phase 1, now underway, allows authorised users to view all applicable due and overdue fees and historical payments. Users can also track relevant fees and sort by groups, such as fee category, due date and covered entity.

– Phase 2, which is expected to take place during the third quarter of 2017, will allow all authorised users to make online payments. To guarantee a smooth transition, users will be provided with the necessary training and guidance on the new fee payment module. This will include instructions on assigning fee payment roles and work flows.

CIMA Managing Director Cindy Scotland said :“Although there is still work to be done before its final stages, I trust that this new service will allow the Cayman Islands to maintain its position as a leading jurisdiction within the global financial services industry”.

Offshore Finance Industry is important to Cayman

Thursday, March 30th, 2017

Jude Scott, the CEO of Cayman Finance, said that the offshore financial services sector is important to everyone in the Cayman Islands and not just those making a direct living from it.

In Order to get the understanding by the local community at a time when the industry continues to come under attack, not just from overseas but more recently at home as a result of the Legal Practitioners Bill, Cayman Finance has launched a local awareness campaign about the sector.

“The financial services industry has such a positive impact on our community,” Scott said. “We understand it can sometimes be difficult for members of the wider community to see the positive influence the industry has on all residents, but the industry accounts for more than 50% of government revenue – that’s in excess of $300 million each year – which helps to fund education, healthcare, infrastructure, charities and more.”

The finance industry employs over 5,000 people including more than 2,700 Caymanians. And it is not just lawyers, accountants, but also IT and marketing professionals. Also, the finance sector buys services from large, medium and small businesses in other industries in the Cayman economy helping to create jobs indirectly.

Hoping to raise awareness about what the financial services industry does and its impact on the wider community and economy Cayman Finance will be giving presentations to various organisations, associations and businesses within different sectors.