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The Editor Speaks: Congrats are in order to our men who went to the UK Ministry

Colin Wilsonweb2At last our words were played out all over the world when our quartet of three government members including the premier plus Jude Scott, Chief Financial Officer of Cayman Finance all weighed in with a united front at the UK Prime Minister’s Anti-Corruption Summit.

Premier Alden McLaughlin’s words were widely reported when he warned if the U.S. and other larger jurisdictions didn’t comply with stricter rules being imposed on the rest of the world, then “all the shady business is going to migrate to Delaware, Wyoming, Panama, you name it.”

“It is time to put behind us the shades of hypocrisy that have been part and parcel of global discussion of this issue for years and years. So long as countries with real commitments on the world stage continue to focus on jurisdictions that are smaller in size while ignoring the larger jurisdictions, the results will be continued failure,” he said.

This was said straight in the face of U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry who compared the threat posed by corruption to the threat posed by terrorism, and urged attendees to work together in the fight for transparency.

“Corruption, writ large, is as much of an enemy, because it destroys nation states, as some of the extremists we are fighting or the other challenges we face,” he said.

Yes, Mr Kerry, I agree. So put your own house in order first!

On British Sky News Scott echoed McLaughlin’s words when he said, “The difficulty is when you start carving out standards for certain countries that aren’t applicable to others then what we create is really a bucket that we patch some holes but we have other large holes that are very leaky.”

What is astonishing to me is two of the big players in the so called tax evasion scandals/money laundering, Panama and the British Virgin islands were not invited to the conference.

It was the revealing of the Panama Papers that caused the explosion and despite the Cayman Islands having only a minute trail leading to our back door from the revelations our name has been lauded high and low in the press. Amazingly Delaware hasn’t!

Scott noted too that these two countries were missing. He said, “I really don’t know the background or circumstances on that. I think from the Cayman perspective we’re very pleased to participate in it. We think that perhaps that has been a deficiency in the past that top jurisdictions like ourselves haven’t had the opportunity to contribute a wealth of knowledge and perspective so we’re happy to be at the table and we’re happy to be a strong partner.”

In an interview with the Financial Times, our Minister of Financial Services, Wayne Panton said the Cayman Islands already had a more effective approach to rooting out wrongdoing than the approach favoured by the prime minister, which requires companies to list their ultimate owners on a public register.

He said the UK’s decision to push public registers could be criticised as “weak policymaking” because it did not require the information on the register to be verified. “The small element of abusers of the international financial system . . . are the very people who are not going to be honest with voluntary disclosures.”

In an interview with the FT, he said the Cayman Islands had adhered to a higher standard for the past 15 years because it required company service providers to collect and verify the information. “The suggestion that going to a central public registry with unverified information is a better approach is frankly very disappointing.”

Mr Panton ruled out putting the verified information into the public domain, saying that business might move to “a jurisdiction that respects privacy more”.

“We believe there is a very clear distinction between secrecy and privacy,” he said.

Panton also said there had been a “disproportionate focus on the role of offshore”, which neglected the failure of onshore centres, particularly states such as Wyoming, Nevada and Delaware in the US, to meet international standards. He said: “I think the UK has a problem but it pales in comparison with the US problem.”

Mr Panton said a US crackdown announced last week was “not unhelpful” but argued that the US remained a weak link.


At last we obtained some good publicity and when our team was put under the hammer the only thing that happened were sparks. And these were the all the best kind.

Well done.


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