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Cayman Commits To Making Beneficial Ownership Info Public

by Mike Godrey, Lowtax.net, Washington
31 December, 2019

The Government of the Cayman Islands has announced plans to introduce a public register of beneficial ownership.

The Government said it will introduce publicly accessible registers on a timeline that reflects the development and evolution of public registers in the UK and the EU. In a statement, the Government stressed that "financial secrecy is not tolerated in our jurisdiction."

"While undue focus is often placed on our jurisdiction, we fully appreciate the need to ensure coherent and efficient registration and exchange of beneficial ownership to facilitate the transparent flow of legitimate capital," it added.

The Government said that it will refine and improve legislation and build the technological systems needed to enable public access to the information. This work will be "informed by the principles of emerging global best practice."

Anticipating that registers will be publicly available in EU member states by 2023, the Government will introduce legislation "when that occurs." The Government said that due regard will be given to the protection of individuals' rights, including the right to privacy, the protection of personal data, and the presumption of innocence.

Premier Alden McLaughlin said: "Since 2013 my Government has committed to introducing a public register of company beneficial ownership when it becomes an international standard. The introduction of the UK's public beneficial ownership register, the EU 5th Anti-Money Laundering Directive and similar actions by other jurisdictions represents a shift in the global standard and the practices used to combat illicit activity."

McLaughlin added that the implementation timetable proposed by the Government "recognizes the work necessary to create a register that is sufficiently robust [and] capable of sustainable of levels of interoperability."

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