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Cayman Tells UK Of Beneficial Ownership Transparency Plans

by Jason Gorringe, Lowtax.net, London
04 March, 2016

Cayman Finance, the promotional agency on behalf of the islands' financial services industry, has welcomed discussions between the Cayman Islands Government and the UK concerning transparency with respect to the beneficial ownership of legal entities.

The agency said discussions took place on February 23, 2016, between representatives from the UK's Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO), the National Crime Agency (NCA), and the Cayman Islands Government.

Earlier, the UK Government had been pushing for its Crown Dependencies – Guernsey, the Isle of Man, and Jersey – and it's various Caribbean Overseas Territories to introduce publicly accessible registers that would include information on the beneficial ownership of companies and other entities. The territories rejected the plans, noting that such registers are absent elsewhere, and some have put forward plans to improve their existing systems.

Jude Scott, Cayman Finance CEO, said: "Cayman Finance worked closely with the Ministry of Financial Services in preliminary discussions and working groups in the short period leading up to the FCO and NCA visit and endorses [the Cayman] Government's position to maintain and enhance the current effective corporate services provider verified beneficial ownership regime...," adding that the agency supports the "Government's proposed concept to further enhance the current system with a technology platform."

"Cayman Finance understands the proposed centralized access technology concept would be non-public, with strictly local access; and maintains the key elements of Cayman's current effective regime," Scott said. "Importantly, the proposed concept is intended to utilize technology to provide more efficient and faster access for appropriate beneficial ownership information requests."

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