Archive for the ‘Cayman Organizations’ Category

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.

Cayman Economy grows by 3%, surpassing predictions

Tuesday, December 20th, 2016

Statistics released by Cayman Islands Government indicates that the local economy grew by around 3% in the 1st 6 months of 2016, surpassing predictions and reflecting the best growth rate in the country since before the economic crisis.

The forecast GDP growth for 2016 has now been adjusted from the expected 2.1% forecast by the finance minister during the budget to 3% because of the improved performance in the 1st part of the year. The government purse is also fuller than expected as the stronger economy has boosted revenue by 9.7%.

According to the latest numbers from the Economics and Statistics Office, the Cayman Islands Government expects to end the fiscal year with a surplus of $127.5 million, which is 10.8% higher than the CI$115.1 million the administration achieved in 2015. The finance ministry has also been getting on top of the government’s debt, which at the end of June was down 3.7% from last year to CI$501.3 million.

Following the release of the figures, Finance and Economic Development Minister Marco Archer said: “I am pleased to note that growth in the first half of 2016 improved on the 1.3% growth for the same period in 2015”. He added that it also exceeds the initial GDP forecast for the year of 2.1%, and is the highest growth rate since 2007.

The main boost to the economy, however, may be bad news for the environment as it is based on a growth in construction, quarrying and consumption. The semi-annual growth was due in large part to an 11.4% growth in construction, while wholesale and retail trade grew by 7.6%.

Growth in the financial services sector, which still accounts for the bulk of Cayman’s earnings, was considerably more modest. Financing and insurance services grew by 3.6%, which the ESO said down to the domestic lending activity of commercial banks rather than the offshore industry. While visitor numbers are still growing, the hotel and restaurant sector declined by just over 1%.

The GDP estimate for 2015 shows that the local economy was where the growth was concentrated. “The 2.8% growth exceeded the 2% advance estimate for the year based on early indicators,” Archer said. “Moreover, it was broad-based as all sectors in the economy turned in positive growth rates. This augurs well for the increased diversification of our economic base.”

Cayman listed as 2nd worst tax haven

Tuesday, December 13th, 2016

The Cayman Islands has been listed as one of the worst corporate tax havens in the world in a new report examining the impact that tax-dodging corporations have on the world’s poorest people. Published by the international charity Oxfam, the report lists Cayman in second place behind Bermuda because of the zero-rated corporate income tax and what the charity said is a lack of cooperation with international efforts against tax avoidance.

But Oxfam stated in the report that there is a destructive race to the bottom on corporate tax.

Also, it said that the growth in the use of tax havens means countries are finding it harder and harder to tax income from capital. Government coffers are declining and the burden of tax has shifted toward poorer workers and small businesses and away from powerful conglomerates and the world’s high net worth individuals.

Oxfam names on-shore countries as well as offshore financial centres, such as Cayman and Bermuda, but the charity is calling on world governments and corporations to facilitate much more transparency over who owns what and who pays tax where on their earnings and profits. The charity also raised concerns that in the country-by-country reporting between government authorities the information is still not public. This means developing countries cannot access the data.

Responding to this latest critical report, Financial Services Minister Wayne Panton accused Oxfam of making errors on its list and of exploiting misinformed public opinion, as part of an agenda to influence the public policy of G20 countries.

Panton said that the report “may be detrimental to the overall shared goal of combating criminal behaviour and addressing income inequality”. He claimed that Oxfam’s overriding error is their failure to differentiate between capital flows and profit shifting.

To engage in profit shifting, a jurisdiction must attract significant multinational corporations, or MNCs, he explained. “Cayman does not have this type of business. We do, however, receive capital flows that are used to the benefit of other jurisdictions, via investment projects”.

Cayman Finance https://www.cayman.finance/, the local body representing the offshore sector, has described a recent Oxfam report on tax havens as “the same purposefully misleading rhetoric pretending to be research that Oxfam has published and republished for years”. Cayman Finance said the analysis was biased and “intentionally inaccurate and misleading information”, as it accused the global charity that has been helping the world’s poor and vulnerable people for well over 70 years of advancing an agenda and harming countries they do not ‘like’ in the process.

Cayman Finance CEO Jude Scott claimed that the Oxfam report was “alarmism” that was “unsupported by the facts”.

He said that international policymakers recognise the “vital role the Cayman Islands plays in the global economy”, as he advanced the idea that Cayman connects law-abiding users and providers of investment capital and financing around the world, which benefits both developed and developing countries.

“Oxfam continues to use a misleading and overly simplistic definition of what a tax haven is. Its assertion that a zero tax jurisdiction is a key criterion in defining a tax haven is simply not correct. Cayman Finance believes that any criteria used should be transparent, objective and meaningful,” Scott said. ‘Tax haven’ is a place providing shelter for illegal or inappropriate transactions and a jurisdiction that engages in practices that supports or conceals transactions relating to tax evasion, which is illegal. So, the Cayman Islands is not a ‘tax haven’, he said. “The Cayman Islands is an efficient and effective tax neutral jurisdiction that does not add additional taxes and has been recognised for decades as a strong partner in combatting global financial crime including money-laundering, terrorism financing, corruption and tax evasion. The Cayman Islands has gained the reputation of a transparent jurisdiction by meeting or exceeding globally accepted standards for transparency and cross border cooperation.” He said this jurisdiction provides a tax neutral platform that allows parties domiciled in countries that have differing laws, regulations, tax rules and customs to do business with each other.

CIIPO promotes intellectual rights in US

Monday, November 14th, 2016

Officials from the Cayman Islands Intellectual Property Office (CIIPO) are heading to Florida, US, in order to promote the country’s new regime.

According to Deputy Registrar General Donnell Dixon, the invitation to the International Trade mark Association (INTA) Leadership Meeting emphasized how important Cayman is in this market, despite only just having passed a slate of new laws. More than 1,200 intellectual property (IP) experts will take part in the meeting “to promote Cayman’s IP framework to some of the leading minds in the industry”.

He said: “The timing of this gathering is phenomenal as the Legislative Assembly just passed a new trade marks law, revised patents law, and new design rights legislation in October that will encourage more international companies to do business in Cayman”.

CIIPO announced Cayman’s IP protections at INTA’s Annual Meeting in Orlando, Florida, only in May, so receiving the invitation less than 6 months later “speaks volumes to CIIPO’s significance in the minds of brand owners from major corporations”, he added.

CIMA appoints temporary banking boss

Wednesday, September 14th, 2016

The Cayman Islands Monetary Authority (CIMA) has appointed Gloria Glidden as the acting head of itsbanking supervision division.

Glidden will take up the job on October 1 following the resignation of the current boss, Charles Ilako, who leaves at the end of this month. Glidden has held the deputy post since March 2014 but will now take over the oversight of international and commercial banks and trusts, the development bank, as well as money services businesses, building societies and cooperative societies here.

Although Glidden’s new role is as acting head and therefore temporary, CIMA is pleased to be able to fill the key position through promotion from within the authority.

Glidden is a Certified Public Accountant with 18 years post-qualification experience in finance and accounting spanning various industries such as auditing, utilities, telecommunications and financial services, with five and a half years in hedge fund administration.

Financial Ministry brings key bills ahead of CFATF review

Monday, September 12th, 2016

The financial services minister will be presenting another 4 bills at the forthcoming meeting of the Legislative Assembly in order to ensure Cayman successfully clears next year’s Caribbean Financial Action Task Force’s (CFATF) mutual evaluation process and improve the financial sector’s regulatory framework. The 4 legislative pieces are intended to maintain Cayman’s adherence to international standards and will give greater powers for law enforcement and regulatory agencies to police the sector and cooperate with international counterparts.

The draft bills will be debated in October. They provide greater clarity about the type of businesses that have a responsibility to adhere to the international standards.

The bills are as follows:
• the Monetary Authority (Amendment) Bill, 2016;
• the Auditors Oversight (Amendment) Bill, 2016;
• the Companies Management (Amendment) Bill, 2016;
• the Non-Profit Organisations Bill, 2016.

The Monetary Authority bill will allow the Cayman Islands Monetary Authority (CIMA) to implement an administrative fines regime as a mechanism to ensure the industry’s compliance with laws and regulations that support the jurisdiction’s anti-money laundering regime and international standards.