Archive for November, 2006

CIFSA

Sunday, November 26th, 2006

The Cayman Islands Financial Services Association (CIFSA) formed in 2003 comprises individual companies and key associations which include the Cayman Islands Society of Professional Accountants (CISPA), the Cayman Islands Compliance Association, the Cayman Islands Fund Administrators Association, the Cayman Islands Bankers Association, the Insurance Managers Association, the Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners (STEP),  the Cayman Islands Company Managers Association, Cayman National Bank, Appleby Hunter Bailhache, Butterfield Bank, Julius Baer Bank, CIBC, Deloitte, Ogier, Walkers, HSBC, KPMG,  PricewaterhouseCoopers, Royal Bank of Canada, Scotia Bank & Trust and Sul America International Bank.

Cayman Islands is an international financial centre supported by a number of professionals offering a wide variety of services. The mission of CIFSA is to communicate the integrity and quality of financial services industry in Cayman Islands. The CIFSA is an association to represent a jutisdiction committed to maintaining the highest integrity and operative standards evidenced by Cayman’s adherence to international regulatory requirements.

Cayman Trust Management

Wednesday, November 22nd, 2006

The Cayman Islands is a famous and well-respected jurisdiction for trust services. Numerous trust companies in Cayman are well-established and experienced. The trust law of the Cayman Islands provides great asset protection features.

Trust Management has been a wide-spread activity in Cayman for more than 30 years. Currently, trust assets there equal or even exceed banking assets.

Originally, mostly wealthy individuals from the major common law countries used the trust in the Cayman Islands, however, nowadays it is considered to be a major technique of asset protection all over the world. Over the years, the Cayman Islands has extended and adapted its trust laws to accommodate the market interested not only in tax avoidance, but also in the efficient management of assets in a wider sense.

As it becomes increasingly complicated to invest and preserve wealth, the trust has become especially important as a means to provide financial security for people’s families after death.

The country can boast of experienced professional advisers on trust matters. Individuals can offer trust services without registration there, however, companies providing trust services, foreign or Cayman-resident are to be licensed under the Banks and Trust Companies Law 1995. After the Monetary Authority has accepted an application, the Governor issues the license.

World-class trust services available from a variety of service providers are regulated under the Banks and Trust Companies Law (2003 Revision).

A licensed trust company can be either restricted or unrestricted. Restricted companies are more strictly controlled, but less capital is required for them.

As to private trustee companies which have recently become popular, in this type, the trust remains uncluttered by control arrangements exercised by the private trustee company. The private trustee company, in its turn, can be administered by a licensed trust company. This form is convenient for the larger type of family trusts with multiple beneficiaries and objects.

CIMA

Saturday, November 18th, 2006

The Cayman Islands Monetary Authority (CIMA) is the primary financial services regulator enhancing the economic wealth and reputation of Cayman by means of fostering a thriving, growing, developing, competitive and internationally recognised financial services industry through a stable currency and appropriate, cost-effective and efficient supervision. The CIMA was established under The Monetary Authority Law in 1996 to merge the former Currency Board with Financial Services Supervision Department.

The four principal functions of the CIMA are monetary, regulatory, cooperative and advisory. The monetary function is all about the issue and redemption of the currency and notes of the Cayman Islands and the management of currency reserves. The regulatory function means regulating and supervising financial services, monitoring compliance with money laundering regulations, issuing a regulatory handbook on policies and procedures as well as rules, statements of principle and guidance. The cooperative function of the CIMA is providing assistance to overseas regulatory authorities, which includes the execution of memoranda of understanding to assist with consolidated supervision. The advisory function deals with offering advice on monetary, regulatory and cooperative matters to the Government.

The Cayman Islands Monetary Authority consists of 10 divisions. These are operations, currency, banking supervision, insurance supervision, investments & securities, policy & development, fiduciary services, compliance, legal and managing director’s office.

Foreign relations of the Cayman Islands

Tuesday, November 14th, 2006

As the Cayman Islands remains an overseas territory of the UK, its foreign relations are to a great extent managed from the UK. However, the Cayman Government often discusses and resolves important issues with foreign governments on its own without the UK intervening.

In the past, the Cayman Islands’ relationships were with the UK and Jamaica were most important for the country, however, in recent years, Cayman relies more so on the USA.

Being an overseas territory of the United Kingdom, the Cayman Islands has no representation in the United Nations as well as in most other international organizations. Still, the country does participate in some international organizations. The Cayman Islands is a full member of the Central Development Bank, a sub-bureau of Interpol, International Olympic Committee and FIFA, and an associate member of Caricom and UNESCO.

Cayman Islands excluded from non-cooperative list

Friday, November 10th, 2006

The FATF or the Financial Action Task Force on Money Laundering is an inter-governmental body founded in 1989 to develop and promote national and international policies concerning money laundering and terrorist financing. It is based at the Organization for Economic and Co-operative Development (OECD) headquarters in Paris.

The Financial Action Task Force on Money Laundering currently includes 33 members – 31 countries and territories and 2 regional organizations. Also, the FATF actively co-operates with many international and regional bodies that deal with combating money laundering and terrorist financing.

Previously, the FATF had the list of countries and territories not co-operating with its standards that besides Nigeria, the Bahamas, Egypt, Cook Islands, Dominica, Russia and Ukraine included also Cayman Islands. Currently, Cayman Islands are no longer on the list, so it is not considered as not following the FATF standards and recommendations any more. Nowadays, Cayman is known as having in place a regulatory regime which surpasses many of the top international financial centres in the area of the world in anti-money laundering area.

Double Taxation in Cayman

Monday, November 6th, 2006

The Cayman Islands has no double tax agreements with other countries as it has no other taxes than customs duties and stamp duty.

However, the Cayman Islands has entered into a mutual legal assistance treaty with the United States. This treaty is specifically about fiscal matters. In 2002, the country also signed a Tax Information Exchange Agreement with the USA.

In 2004, the Cayman Islands had to accept information sharing under the EU’s Savings Tax Directive. After that, the United Kingdom intended to discuss a tax treaty between the UK and the Cayman Islands. The UK government is giving a high priority to the issue of signing a Cayman tax treaty.

The Paymaster General, Dawn Primarolo, MP, has recently announced the details of the UK’s treaty negotiating priorities for the year to 31 March 2007. Among other priorities, he highlighted UK’s intention to progress negotiations with the Cayman Islands.

Butterfield Bank provides Gold mortgage

Thursday, November 2nd, 2006

On October 23, 2006, Butterfield Bank (Cayman) Limited announced offering a Gold mortgage as one of the Butterfield Lifestyle Mortgages products. This product suits those clients who have a high disposable income and are looking for the possibilities to make the available cash work harder.

In accordance with the bank’s announcement, the benefits of the new product include a variable interest rate of prime +0.5% and a pre-approved Butterfield VISA Gold credit card as well as preferential insurance terms with Island Heritage.

Head of Personal Lending at Butterfield Bank, Maureen Watler, explained that the Butterfield Gold Mortgage is for those who want to buy a substantially larger home. Both new and existing clients can do this with a 10% down payment, up to 25 years repayment term, a low interest rate and low bank fee.

The same as with all Butterfield Lifestyle Mortgages, loans can also be arranged on a fixed rate basis and payment options are available. All loans are subject to credit approval.