Cayman news: Chamber of commerce and offshore lawyers team up against UK beneficial ownership plan

Compass Cayman reports on the local Chamber of Commerce and Law Society “blasting” a proposed plan for Cayman to have a public registry of beneficial ownership.

“Cayman’s largest private sector representative organization and one of its largest attorneys associations on Friday criticized United Kingdom proposals aimed at making public the list of individuals or companies that benefit from registered financial entities in the islands.

“We should not infringe on legitimate privacy by embarking on an untested and unchartered path which is inconsistent with any global standard and which certainly does not exist in competing jurisdictions,” Chamber of Commerce President Johann Moxam wrote in a letter last week about the issue to government’s Financial Services Minister Wayne Panton.”

“In order to work properly and achieve any semblance of its objective, such a proposal for a publicly accessible register of beneficial ownership would need to be universally applied by all jurisdictions,” said Alasdair Robertson, Maples and Calder partner and president of the Cayman Islands Law Society. ”

The whole article is here.

In related news, a UK-imposed fiscal responsibility framework will stay in place:

“The limits [in the Framework for Fiscal Responsibility] are there because of the liabilities the U.K. faces if it all goes wrong,” said Peter Hayes, U.K. Foreign and Commonwealth Office Overseas Territories director.”

Which quite nicely illustrates who is ultimately responsible for governing the Cayman Islands.

Back to beneficial ownership, the IFC Forum – which represents the interests of leading offshore firms – has also weighed in against public registries of beneficial ownership, saying that public registries are an intrusion into personal privacy, and that Cayman should not implement them until they are endorsed by the international standard-setting body, the FATF.

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