October 20, 2019

Cayman Islands’ offshore banking sector dropped in 2017

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By: Pedro Gonçalves From International Investment

Offshore banks reported losses of $1bn last year, an improvement of the $2bn of net losses in 2016, according to the Cayman Islands Monetary Authority’s 2017 banking digest.

“While the sector reported reductions in of $0.9bn, Net Interest Income and Net Non-interest Income reported significant declines of $2.6bn and $0.7bn, respectively,” explained.

The number of offshore banks also declined from 148 in 2016 to 139 last year. The decline has been attributed to “de-risking,” a trend where Cayman-registered banks have had increasing difficulty in finding correspondent banking services in other jurisdictions, the reports.

Domestic banks booked a $13m increase in income before taxes and dividends, and a $24m increase in operating income from 2016 to 2017.

Local banks also reported $174m in net income retained last year, a $3m increase over 2016.

The total positions booked by Cayman-based banks in 2017 declined to $934bn and $934.1bn in assets and liabilities, respectively, CIMA stated.

These movements followed the negative trend from 2016 and represented 10.3% ($107.6bn) and 10.4% ($107.9bn) declines in assets and liabilities year on year to 2017, respectively, according to CIMA.

“This contraction resulted in the decline in ranking of the Cayman Islands international banking position to 10th and 9th for both cross-border assets and liabilities respectively,” CIMA stated. Cayman ranked 8th and 7th in those respective categories in 2016.

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