January 27, 2020

Cayman Islands Chamber says FCA “High Risk” listing “Insulting and lacks credibility” and Cayman Finance accuses FCA of “hypocrisy”


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listing: Insulting and lacks credibility

The Chamber Council describes the recent “high risk” listing by the UK’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) as insulting to the Cayman Islands Government and the Cayman Islands financial services sector and a deliberate and misguided attempt to smear Cayman’s reputation and credibility as one of the world’s best regulated jurisdictions.

“The Cayman Islands financial services sector is among of the world’s best regulated and cooperative jurisdictions according to independent assessments by various international regulatory agencies. The UK’s FCA listing certainly raises legitimate concerns and questions that there may be a hidden competitive agenda at play here or attempts to force the Cayman Islands Government into complying with certain initiatives,” said President Johann Moxam on behalf of the Council.

The fact that literally every other mainstream offshore centre of similar stature to Cayman and indeed many other less developed offshore countries are missing from the list is at best a grave error in the compilation of the list or at worse a deliberate attempt to discredit the Cayman Islands as some type of public relations stunt. The Chamber calls upon the Premier, Minister for Financial Services and Minister of Finance to contact the UK’s FCA and Foreign and Commonwealth Office officials to obtain specific information about the recent visit and assessment and to determine what is at the heart of this listing.

“The Cayman Islands Government and the financial services sector has introduced legislation, policies, regulatory procedures and tax information exchange agreements that ensure that we remain a world class jurisdiction to conduct business and to safeguard the assets of our international clients. These actions demonstrate the tangible strides that have been taken. The conclusion that the Cayman Islands should be on such a list is truly astounding given this jurisdiction’s track record. What more is the Cayman Islands expected to do to satisfy the FCA and FCO?” concluded Mr. Moxam.

IMAGE: Johann Moxam


STATEMENT BY Gonzalo-Jalles-CEO-Cayman-Finance

The FCA should be embarrassed of themselves

By Cayman Finance CEO, Gonzalo Jalles

The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), one key regulator in the UK, recently published a list of what they consider High Risk Countries for illicit flows of money.

The fact that they have listed Cayman despite our long standing commitment to transparency and good rating as per the OECD/FATF clearly upsets us, however what is even more upsetting is the FCA’s hypocrisy.

The FCA preaches for transparency. In April of this year they published a “Transparency Discussion” paper, and in the introduction they state: “As a public body, we should be as open and accountable as possible. We are open to being scrutinised by consumers, firms and Parliament”. However, they do not practice what they preach. The methodology for the construction of this list is not disclosed and we have serious reasons to believe it is poorly constructed and fundamentally flawed.

We recently conducted an independent analysis on the way the Tax Justice Network constructs its secrecy index, with lapidary conclusions (the analysis can be found here). We would be willing and able to submit their analysis to a similar rigorous independent analysis, however my guess is there has not been enough work behind it and the FCA is likely to resist opening it to independent scrutiny.

We are convinced, in line with OECD/FATF reviews, that Cayman is at the forefront of combating and preventing financial crime, and evidence shows that we are at a similar or higher standing than the UK themselves, certainly in regards to beneficial ownership information.

I publicly defy the FCA to practice what they preach…transparency.


See also iNews Cayman story published August 17 2014 “Fury over FCA including Cayman Islands on its “High Risk List” at: https://www.ieyenews.com/wordpress/fury-over-fca-including-cayman-islands-on-its-high-risk-list/


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